Despite the best efforts of Tom Thibodeau's Chicago Bulls in last year's playoffs, no NBA team has managed to have sustained success while playing all five starters for the entire game.
Nobody's saying NBA squads need rotation-caliber production from all 12 active roster spots, but it sure helps to be able to count on eight or nine bodies—particularly because injuries to key players can quickly sink the season for teams without adequate depth.
A good bench isn't all about raw point production, either. It's just as important for a reserve unit to bring energy, defense and attitude. And if said unit has a catchy nickname (like the Los Angeles Clippers' "A Tribe Called Bench"), all the better.
It takes top-to-bottom talent to win in the NBA, so we pored over every team's post-free-agency roster to come up with the league's deepest teams. Some, like the Miami Heat, aren't surprises. Others, like the revamped Indiana Pacers, certainly are.
And because NBA fans love a good argument as much as anything, we ranked them, too.