Having a big boost off the bench in the playoffs can make a massive difference between winning and losing.
In 2011, the Dallas Mavericks’ Jason Terry set an NBA record for scoring off the bench in the postseason, with 368. The Mavericks won the championship. The record he broke belonged to Manu Ginobili, who scored 333 points in helping the San Antonio Spurs to win the title in 2007.
It’s not just about scoring either. Lamar Odom, in making a critical contribution to the Lakers 2010, chipped in totals of 222 points, 198 rebounds, 46 assists, 21 blocks and 15 steals through the postseason. That’s the only time someone ever posted such numbers off the bench for a postseason.
In the postseason the rotation tightens, but the first player or two off the bench can be as important, if not more important, than some of the starters.
In compiling these rankings, only stats off the bench were considered. They were also adjusted to per-36 minute averages, but with a 1,000-minute minimum. Defense, plus/minus and on/off stats were factored in as well. More emphasis was placed on recent performance then early season performance. First-round opponents were taken into consideration as well.
The final rankings were a subjective summation of all these factors.