While starters in the NBA usually get most of the credit for their team's success, it's often the play by the reserves that determine just how far a team can go.
Whether it is one or two key players off the bench for a certain team, the importance of having these types of reserves cannot be overlooked.
In a game often decided by runs, teams must not only have a great core of starters, but also one or two key reserves.
With the NBA season almost two-thirds of the way through, here are the top five reserves at each position this season.
*All player stats are up to date as of 2/11/13.
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 9.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 steals
Eric Bledsoe is having a solid year as he is currently experiencing career highs in almost every single statistical category. As the primary backup point guard to Chris Paul, Bledsoe has shown spurts of brilliance on both offense and defense.
In Paul's brief absence this season, Bledsoe was given the opportunity to run the show and didn't disappoint. In 12 starts this season Bledsoe averaged 14.2 points, 5.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.
At just 23 years old, Bledsoe has begun to flourish and has also become one of the key reserves off the Clippers' bench.
Team: Denver Nuggets
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 8.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 0.8 steals
The Denver Nuggets have arguably one of the best benches in the league and also one of the best backup guards in Andre Miller.
At 36, Miller is an unselfish guard that constantly looks to get his teammates involved. Miller has proven throughout his career that he can and will get his teammates the ball as he is currently ranked 10th all-time in assists.
In a league dominated by scoring point guards, Miller has stuck to his style of play and it has made him one of the best backup point guards in the league today.
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 11.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.5 steals
Although undersized in a league full of giants, J.J. Barea is once again having himself a pretty productive season.
Now in his second year as a backup with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Barea is continuing to show why he is one of the best reserves. With the ability to score the ball and to also pass it, Barea is a reserve a lot of teams wish they had.
While Barea wasn't given the height like other players in the NBA, it doesn't matter. Barea is still a great reserve capable of hitting the outside shot or getting to the rim and laying it up.
Team: Golden State Warriors
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 12.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 0.8 steals
The Golden State Warriors lucked out this past summer when they acquired veteran guard Jarrett Jack.
Since joining Golden State this season, Jack has helped solidify the Warriors as a playoff team with his consistent play off the bench. Jack is an able scorer and passer and has shown that the team doesn't drop off when he comes in for Stephen Curry.
Jack is having a superb season as the sixth man for the Warriors and could be one of the squad's keys to success come playoff time.
Team: Charlotte Bobcats
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 15.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.8 steals
After his short stint as a starter for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, Ramon Sessions is back to his backup ways as a member of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Sessions is having his best scoring season of his career while still being able to dish close to around four assists per game. Sessions is being more aggressive on offense this season as he is currently taking 11.5 shot attempts a game compared to his career average of nine.
Although the Bobcats aren't particularly a great team and having once again a bad season, Sessions has been one of the few bright spots on their roster. Sessions has been the best reserve point guard so far this season.
Team: Dallas Mavericks
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 12.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.9 steals
At 36 years old, Vince Carter is in the back-end of his career but is still putting up some nice numbers.
Carter is currently the most lethal player off of the Dallas Mavericks bench as he can erupt offensively in any given game. Carter has become the team's designated shooter as of late, shooting 39 percent from downtown which is his best percentage since 2005.
While Carter may not be that same acrobat that he was early in his career, the man can still clearly ball and should be considered one of the better reserves in the NBA.
Team: San Antonio Spurs
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 12.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals
The days of Manu Ginobili being considered the NBA's sixth man are over, but that doesn't mean that he still isn't one of the best reserves at shooting guard.
Ginobili for nearly 11 years has been one of the most creative players in the league. With the ability to be a facilitator or a scorer on any given possession, Ginobili has earned that title as one of the most dangerous players in the NBA.
Although hampered by injury for much of the season, Ginobili is too much of a threat when he is on the court to be left off this list. Look for Ginobili to come back strong as he is in his last year of his contract.
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 15.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals
Kevin Martin was asked to fill some big shoes this season when he became the replacement for former sixth man James Harden. So far, he's doing pretty well.
Martin has complemented the Thunder this season, as he has become more of a catch-and-shoot kind of player. Martin has gelled well in that aspect and is currently shooting a career=high percentage from downtown at 44 percent.
While Martin may not be an all-around better player than Harden, he is arguably a better fit for the Thunder's style of play. Martin is already one of the better reserves at the two and could move higher in the near future.
Team: New York Knicks
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals
J.R. Smith has always been known as a player that can get points in bunches and this year hasn't been any different.
Smith is putting up career highs all across the board in points, rebounds, assists and blocks. Although Smith's field-goal percentage is hovering just around 40 percent, he is also making an effort to take less bad shots and shoot more high percentage ones.
Smith looks as if he may be finally reaching his potential and if he can continue this level of play, he could receive serious consideration for the NBA's Sixth Man award.
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 17.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals
If the season ended today, it would be very likely that Jamal Crawford would be walking away with the league's sixth man award.
Crawford is hands down having the best season out of all reserves in the NBA and could be the most important reason for the Clippers' success. Crawford has shown throughout his career and this season that he can't be guarded and can hit a shot from anywhere.
Crawford is the best reserve at this point in the season and will be the main reason to if the Clippers will be playing in June.
Team: Houston Rockets
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 10.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.9 steals
Carlos Delfino may have started the season off on the wrong foot, but since then he has started to pick it up.
In his first season with the Rockets, Delfino is experiencing career highs in both his field goal percentage (41 percent) and three point percentage (39 percent). Delfino has become the designated bomber off the bench and is making opponents pay on a regular basis.
The Rockets and their trigger happy type of play is a style Delfino clearly excels in. Delfino will continue to get his shots in this system and play huge reserve role for the team.
Team: Milwaukee Bucks
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 11.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals
Mike Dunleavy is quietly putting together a pretty good season as the designated sixth man for the Milwaukee Bucks.
The 32-year-old small forward is having a career year from behind the arc, as he is hitting on 44 percent of his attempts. Dunleavy continues to find himself open on offense and has been coming up big.
With the Bucks speedy guard play from Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, Dunleavy will continue to be left open on the wing. With the Bucks currently in the eighth seed in the East, Dunleavy must keep up his level of play off the bench.
Team: Phoenix Suns
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 10.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.5 blocks
Although Michael Beasley could be a starter for most teams, the Phoenix Suns have decided to bring him off the bench.
The former second overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, has continued to see his numbers drop over the past couple of seasons. Although his numbers are down compared to past seasons, Beasley still remains a capable threat and has been putting up decent numbers off the bench.
While it's is unclear how long Beasley will stay in this role of sixth man, as long as he continues to come off the bench, he will be considered one of the top small forward reserves in the league.
Team: Denver Nuggets
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 11.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals
The Denver Nuggets' bench keeps getting deeper and deeper, this time due to Corey Brewer's improvement.
Known more as a defensive pest before the start of the season, Brewer has improved his play on the offensive side of the ball forcing defenders to pay more attention to him. Brewer has become one of those patented players out of Denver that provides both energy and a spark that sets the team on fire.
While Brewer can at times be a bit reckless on the court, he is exactly what the Nuggets need. Brewer should be considered one of the leagues top reserves simply because he provides momentum for his team in multiple ways.
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 10.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals
Matt Barnes may have possibly made the best decision of his career when he decided to sign with Los Angeles' other team, the Clippers.
Since switching locker rooms, Barnes has resurrected his NBA career and has helped propel the Clippers into serious title contention. Barnes is currently averaging a career high in points per game this season while also continuing to come up big on the defensive end.
Barnes seems to have finally found a place where his intensity and toughness can be harnessed for the betterment of the team.
Team: Chicago Bulls
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 7.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.5 blocks
Taj Gibson has quickly become one of the fan favorites in Chicago and for good reason.
Gibson is a strong defensive minded player that puts his body on the line whenever he enters the game. While his offense isn't nearly at the level of his defense, Gibson can still finish at the rim with authority.
Gibson is a type of player that can get both fans and players going just for simply being out on the floor. Gibson's hustle and intensity is what makes him a top reserve at the power forward position.
Team: Boston Celtics
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 10.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.7 blocks
Whether you consider Jeff Green a small forward or a power forward, his play this season has made him a top reserve.
After sitting out for the entire season last year due to open heart surgery, Green has come back and given the Celtics a much needed lift. Through six games this month, Green has averaged 15.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. Green seems to slowly be regaining form and is looking like his old Oklahoma City self.
With the onslaught of injuries the Celtics are facing this season, Green's already big role off the bench could become even bigger.
Team: Golden State Warriors
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.5 blocks
Carl Landry may have proven himself a worthy starter back in his Sacramento days, but his role as a reserve off the bench with the Warriors just seems to make more sense.
Landry has thrived since joining the Warriors this past offseason and has embraced his role. Landry's superb interior offense, great hands, physicality and toughness hasmade the Warriors bench something that cannot be disregarded.
With Landry and Jarrett Jack running the Warriors' bench, the Warriors may once again play spoilers come playoff time.
Team: New York Knicks
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.8 blocks
Amar'e Stoudemire may have made the biggest sacrifice in his career when he accepted the role of coming off of New York's bench.
Since returning from injury, Stoudemire has come off the bench in all of his 19 appearances this season. While his numbers are down across the board, his sacrifice for the team will bring eventual benefits.
Even though the Knicks have had a 11-8 record since Stoudemire's return, his talents and all-around skill-set makes him a dangerous reserve. Stoudemire will continue to put up these kinds of numbers off the bench and with time, the Knicks will only get better.
Team: New Orleans Hornets
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 17.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.5 steals
Ryan Anderson is again having a splendid season, this time as the New Orleans Hornets' sixth man.
Since moving behind Anthony Davis on the depth chart, Anderson has fully embraced his reserve role and is producing career numbers in points, assists, free throw percentage (88 percent), three point percentage (40 percent) and field goal percentage (44 percent). Anderson is also currently the team's leading scorer beating Eric Gordon by 0.7 points.
While Anderson does play 31.3 minutes per game, he is coming off the bench and qualifies as a top reserve. Anderson may have the best shot of challenging Jamal Crawford for this year's sixth man title.
Team: Atlanta Hawks
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 6.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals
While Zaza Pachulia may not possess the best stats or the best skills as a reserve center, he is a player that fans should want on their team.
The 29-year-old vet is in his 10th season in the NBA and his seventh with the Hawks. Pachulia has proven over that time that he is a more than worthy role player capable of getting the job done. Pachulia brings energy whenever he steps on the floor and is a player that doesn't shy away from confrontation.
Pachulia is a tough and an often-irritant reserve that can wreak havoc against opponents with his play and/or energy.
Team: Utah Jazz
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, 0.4 steals
Enes Kanter could be the next big thing for not only the Utah Jazz but for the rest of the league.
The second year center out of Switzerland has shown flashes of greatness on both offense and defense. In two games last week, Kanter displayed his dominance by putting up 17 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks against the Milwaukee Bucks and 15 points and 4 rebounds against the Sacramento Kings.
While it is tough to gauge Kanter's progress on two performances, Kanter has shown his great post moves and his soft touch around the rim regularly when he has gotten the opportunity.
At just 20 years old, Kanter could be that next rising star, but for now he is just a solid reserve.
Team: Detroit Pistons
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 7.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 0.9 steals
Andre Drummond may be injured, but that doesn't keep him off the list of top reserve centers.
Drummond is having a great rookie season and he is putting up big numbers in just under 20 minutes a game. Drummond's defensive play and aggressiveness around the rim could make him the league's next double-double machine in coming years.
Although Drummond is a bit raw offensively in a post moves sense, he is still only 20 years old. Drummond has a lot of time to develop his game and could soon be more than just a backup center.
Team: Denver Nuggets
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 9.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 2.0 blocks
While a lot of JaVale McGee's antics on the court could be labeled as "strange," his game is no joke.
The 7'0" center is arguably one of the best-shot blockers in the league and can flat out jump out of the building. McGee is a great finisher around the rim and when he gets the ball over his head, no one is getting a hand on it.
McGee has the potential to be a great center in the league but only if he can earn more minutes. If McGee can gain trust from the coaching staff and more minutes, he might as well be on his way.
Team: Brooklyn Nets
2012-2013 Per-Game Stats: 10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.1 steals
Andray Blatche got the chance he was looking for when he signed with the Brooklyn Nets this offseason and he is making the most of it.
The power forward/center combo Blatche is having his best shooting season in his career as he is shooting 48 percent from the field. Unlike many centers in the league, Blatche has the ability to hit jumpers, dribble the rock and/or kick it to the open man.
Blatche has set the standard for top reserves at the center position and has the essential tools that could make him one of the best reserves overall.