Have you ever wondered which guys would make the perfect bench in an era of starters and high demands? Here are seven players with seven different abilities, characters, and personalities that would make one team quite successful.
This would lead to what many people would call the perfect bench.
Manu Ginobili—Shooting Guard
What is greater than seeing an All-Star guard enjoy and accept the role of sixth man on the team? It just shows what kind of character and determination Manu Ginobili has to accept the role of second fiddle while having the knowledge to know the greater good of the position.
The three time NBA champion has been putting up solid numbers since he’s entered the league. He recently won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award as he moved from his starter role to allow Roger Mason to get the start.
While injuries killed him in 2009, there is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Manu will be able to get back in stride for the upcoming season as the revamped Spurs look to put a stop to Laker dominance.
James Posey—Small Forward
Posey was key for the Celtics run to 2008 title but decided to sign with New Orleans after that season.
He went under the radar averaging just less than nine points per game off the bench, helping the Hornets capture the fourth overall seed. His strong defense was key for New Orleans as they looked to make it deeper than their one and done against Denver.
Posey stepped up and averaged almost 12 points per game in that first-round defeat.
With Posey, the possibility of success has just increased.
Jason Terry—Point Guard
Terry was just two games away from being the front runner for Finals MVP in 2006 before a young man named Wade took over and eventually won the championship for the Heat.
While it’s seasons later, Terry is still enjoying the same success off the bench as he’s watched Devin Harris be replaced by Jason Kidd. Though the starters have changed, Terry’s stats haven’t as he averaged nearly 20 points per game, which led to Terry being named the 2009 Sixth Man of the Year.
Terry’s unselfishness does not go unnoticed as he gets plenty of playing time and plenty of respect from the opposition, as many could argue he could start on any team in the league.
He will look to build upon his success this upcoming season as Antoine Wright is now in a Raptors jersey.
Rumours of Matt Carroll’s departure only add more opportunities for him to take over.
Lamar Odom—Small Forward
Coming off a fantastic season, Odom helped Los Angeles capture the 2009 Championship coming off the bench.
His 11.3 points per game was fourth best on the team, but his nine rebounds per game was better than center Andrew Bynum’s totals on the year and improved even more throughout the playoffs.
Odom will likely get a good shot to start again for Los Angeles as Trevor Ariza is in Houston which allows Odom to play some big minutes with the big unit.
The shot blocker of the group sets the tone by sending the ball 10 feet into the crowd, sending thousands to their feet clapping and applauding the effort.
Chris Anderson knows the bottom because he has been there. The 31-year old returned from a two year ban for violating the league's drug policy and came back swinging.
He managed to help a Nuggets team taste playoff success for the first time in ages as his two-and-a-half blocks per game in just over 20 minutes per game put him among the league leaders and the best per 48 minutes.
Look for Anderson’s stats to only improve as George Karl looks to use "the Birdman" more, as Nene and Kenyon Martin will look to be kept fresh for the playoffs.
Ronald Murray —Shooting Guard
The Atlanta Hawks guard tore up the postseason and helped them to visit the second round in the 2009 playoffs.
The journeyman from Philly has played on six different teams in his young career had one of his best seasons to date, with 12.2 points per game. He still somehow has found himself without a team entering September.
While Allen Iverson is making the headlines, a team would be lucky to steal a winner like Murray as his character and experience are enough to make any roster.
Darius Songaila—Power Forward
One of the most underrated players in the league, Songaila is a dominant offensive big coming off the bench.
In his sixth NBA season, he averaged 7.4 points per game and his size and speed are a great combination of what you need off the bench. His .532 shooting percentage is one of the best in basketball as he knows not to take any stupid shots, or he will be back sitting beside Gilbert Arenas.
This year he finds himself in a new city where he will be the backup to sophomore Kevin Love, which means he may see a lot of playing time and even some starts if Love remains the same or digresses.
Honourable mentions: Keyon Dooling, Jason Kapono, Joel Przybilla, Matt Barnes and Jeff Foster.
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