Jim Mancari, SNYNets.com
The Nets’ bench, nicknamed the “Bench Mob,” has been one of the most productive second units in the NBA this season.
During the Nets five-game winning streak that recently ended, the second unit gave Brooklyn great minutes as the starters took a rest. Each night, it seemed that one of Andray Blatche, C.J. Watson, Reggie Evans, Jerry Stackhouse or MarShon Brooks stepped up.
However, in the Nets’ back-to-back losses, the bench has not been as effective, which likely played a role in the outcome of the games.
Against the Lakers, the bench collectively shot well from the field (7-of-13, 53.8 percent), but 13 shots between five players is rather low. The Bench Mob only managed 17 points in the Nets’ 95-90 loss.
The Lakers’ bench scored only 10 combined points but also played significantly less minutes. The Bench Mob looked good defensively, but the lack of scoring was uncharacteristic.
In the 102-93 loss to the Warriors, the second unit contributed 33 points. Seems like a good total right? The problem is that the bench scored those 33 points on just 12-of-33 combined shooting (36.4 percent).
Defensively, the Bench Mob again looked decent, with the Warriors’ bench managing only 19 points. But still, the Nets have relied on their bench to provide consistent offense, and they had trouble executing in the final two games of the west coast road trip.
Of course, it was just a two-game slip, so don’t expect the bench to see limited action tonight against the Clippers. In fact, since the Bench Mob has played better defensively than the first unit, they may eve see extended action.
The Clippers play a high-energy style of basketball with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. But the Nets also need to be weary of Jamal Crawford coming off the bench. The 32-year-old veteran is leading all NBA reserve players by averaging 19.7 points per game this season.
It will be up to the Bench Mob to get back on track tonight to help the Nets get back in the win column. The team made it a point this offseason to add depth, and the first few games proved the Nets had accomplished that goal.
The second unit had a brief setback out west, but a strong effort tonight against the Clippers will renew the Bench Mob’s energy.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.