trex_8063 wrote:How many teams in history can boast 6th-9th men + coach that good? Very very few. Teams like the '96 Bulls come to mind. Maybe the '15 or '16 Warriors?
So when I look at subs, I look to see how much they play for other teams - were they starter quality?
Kukoc - did it 10 times - great 6th man, really a level above this type of analysis.
Wennington - never played more than 18.9 minutes a game
Kerr - played 50% of the time - 24.8 mpg - once
Buechler - never played more than 21.1 minutes per game
So you have one guy who was definite starter quality, and one guy who was starter level once.
This is not a talented bench.
Rodman - did it 13 times, like Kukoc really a level (or two) above this
Johnson - 8 times played 24 mpg or more
Salley did it 5 times,
Edwards did it 11 items
So it shows the Pistons have guys 6-9 that were starter quality - I thought so at the time, and they go 9 deep probably as well as most any team ever.
These benches aren't close, to me little doubt 4 of the top 5 guys are Pistons.
Now you can argue that the Bulls were well coached, and that they were used well, but in terms of talent, having your 7th-9th guys having only one season has being a regular is really low.
I'm not necessarily disagreeing the Pistons had the better bench.....that was sort of the whole point of what I was saying wrt to their depth. I was merely [off the top of my head] throwing out some suggestions of teams that may have had a bench somewhat comparable.
I don't really agree with the methodology you're using for comparison here, though. Just because a guy was a starter in years past [or years future] doesn't necessarily have a lot of bearing on what they were in a specific year in outside of that time.
Vinnie Johnson in '90, for example, was 33 years old and had clearly hit his post-prime [as I'd indicated]; he simply wasn't the player he'd been even a year previously.
And while it's a slight derail, I'm going to elaborate one why I think you're underselling the Chicago bench of that year. You wanna say the bench on the '89 Pistons was better, fine; I'll probably agree with you. But to say that was "not a talented bench" does not ring true at all to me:6th man: Toni Kukoc
Was 6MOY in '96 and legitimately fringe/borderline All-Star level player. Can try to qualify the latter part of that statement if needed, but hopefully that at least does not come across as even remotely "hot takey".7th man: Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr was a pretty decent player, and bear in mind that from '95-'97 [when the brought the above-the-break 3pt line in by 21"], his stock rose a bit. He was already an extremely elite catch-and-shoot outside marksman; when they made it that much easier for him to get the extra point, he was actually a pretty important player, and VERY complimentary on a team that had someone who was frequently doubled in the post and good passing out of the double (Jordan), and someone who was decent penetrating and kicking (Pippen, Jordan, and Kukoc). He averaged 6.5 3PA/100 this season, while making 51.5% of them
. While he didn't score high volume [slightly below league average at 18.9 pts/100, actually], his eFG% was 63.3%: best on the team by nearly 9% over the 2nd-place teammate.
Although he rarely got to the FT-line, he shot a career-best 92.9% this year, too. All factored in, his rTS% was an astounding +12.1% (best on the team by more than 7% over 2nd).
And while his creation responsibilities were small, he conducted his role with an ultra-elite [GOAT-level] turnover economy (even in light of of his light load): consider that for every 2 turnovers he committed, he'd have accrued 32.8 pts and 9.1 ast
And it's not as though he didn't have to handle the ball some; he was actually fairly routinely tasked with advancing the ball into the halfcourt anyway, spelling Pippen a little on those responsibilities.
Between his ultra-elite shooting efficiency and even more ultra-elite turnover economy, he has an individual ORtg of 141
, which is best in the league among players who played even remotely relevant minutes. Off-hand, that might be the best individual ORtg I ever recall seeing, actually.
Defensively he's very limited, mostly due to his size and mediocre lateral quickness (though he's neither dumb nor lazy defensively).
But the offensive value he brings based on his shooting and ball control make him a fairly relevant player.
Taking a quick glance at all the box-based metrics and the limited +/- based ones, '96 Kerr was a 15.2 PER, .208 WS/48, +3.4 BPM, +35 net rating
[again, not sure I've seen one so high on actual relevant minutes], and +0.3 AuPM while averaging >23 mpg and
not missing a single game.
Are his circumstances favourable to the type of player he is? Sure; but that's a pretty decent player, no matter how you slice it. With the shortened line, Kerr is at least a "weak starter level" player.......and that's a pretty good asset to have as your 7th-man.8th man: Bill Wennington
Yeah, Wennington is nothing special, but he's not bad for that role. You're not writing home about him, but nor are you crying about a player like Wennington as your 8th
man. He's basically league average among 8th-men.9th man: Jud Beuchler
Beuchler wasn't a bad player. He's basically a fair/decent 3&D role player (and those kinds of guys always have value). With the shortened line he was shooting 44.4% from beyond the arc that year, and that's on a not insignificant 6.4 3PA/100, and I recall him being fair/decent defensively (averaged 2.9 stl+blk/100, fwiw). And he's a halfway decent rebounding SF, particularly on the offensive glass (his OREB% is barely behind Longley, and actually ahead of Wennington).
As the 9th
man in your rotation.....that's actually pretty good.
And let's not forget that after the AS-break [and in the playoffs], the '96 Bulls also had one of the very players you're praising above: John Salley; only 31-32 years old, had been a starter just the year prior.
Don't know that it's as good as the bench of the '89 Pistons; but "not a talented bench" is a clear mischaracterization, imo.
"Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." -George Carlin