L.A. Clippers' Bench-Scoring Total Might Correlate To Total Number of Wins

Tony LeeContributor IIINovember 2, 2010

The Clippers (0-4) might not match the 2007-08 squad's 23-win total this season the way its bench is playing.
The Clippers (0-4) might not match the 2007-08 squad's 23-win total this season the way its bench is playing.Jeff Gross/Getty Images

It was a coming-out party Tuesday night for Eric Bledsoe, Ryan Gomes and the rest of the Los Angeles Clippers' starting lineup that scored an unprecedented 81 points against the San Antonio Spurs.

However, a lethargic bench that did not score until 10:04 left in the game out shadowed their performances and kept the Clippers winless with a 97-88 home loss at the Staples Center.

The Clippers' (0-4) bench struggled on both sides of the court, notching just seven points on 3-of-15 shooting and committing seven personal fouls on defense. Small forwards Rasual Butler and rookie Al-Farouq Aminu each had minus-14 plus-or-minus ratio off the bench, too.

The Spurs' (2-1) bench, on the other hand, had all seven of its bench players with a positive plus-or-minus ratio and shot 48.1 percent from the field with nine three-pointers collectively as a team.

Head coach Vinny Del Negro has seen only two bench players score in double-figures this season and is probably getting eerily worried about the lack of bench depth.

Especially since his team now has injuries.

With starter Baron Davis and backup Randy Foye out, Del Negro had no other option but to start Bledsoe for a game-high 39 minutes.

Del Negro also looked at Gomes to be aggressive and prove he earned the right to be the starting wingman since the Clippers would be without Davis’ 10.3 points and 5.7 assists per game.

Bledsoe and Gomes rose to the situation. The bench, however, seemed to let the situation overwhelm them instead.

Bledsoe’s nine-point, 4-of-11 shooting performance won’t jump off the page, but he did show signs of brilliance with an alley-oop pass to Blake Griffin to end the first quarter and a block on Tony Parker on a breakaway in the third.

Gomes’ 14-point performance—the first time he scored in double-figures this season—with a team-high two threes showed he could play out of a slump, too.

The Clippers have some hope, but it’s hard to get over a bench—in the Western Conference mind you—that has only two players that scored in double-figures this season.

The Clippers bench scored seven points Tuesday, and I wouldn't be surprised if that is the team's final win total when the season's over.