Commentary

Rating the NBA's top benches

John Hollinger breaks down the league's top benches (PER Diem: Jan. 7, 2011)

Updated: January 7, 2011, 6:05 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com
Leandro BarbosaRon Turenne/Getty ImagesThe Raptors have only won 12 games this season, but don't blame Leandro Barbosa and the bench.

Saturday's tussle between Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors was an unusual game on multiple levels. Despite injuries, the Raptors' starters came out and smoked the Rockets in the first quarter. But in the second, Houston's second unit thrashed the Toronto subs to the tune of 42-21, and the Rockets kept that up the rest of the game.

So well did Houston's subs play, in fact, that they stayed on the court as a unit for much of the 114-105 win. All five Houston subs played at least 23 minutes, and they rolled as a unit for the first nine minutes of the fourth quarter. The Rockets finished with a 65-23 edge in bench points and a 19-5 advantage in bench assists.


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