Someone…? Anyone…?: A statistical look at how bad the Timberwolves bench actual is.

In case you’re behind this NBA season, let me bring you up to speed on a few things.

First: The Indiana Pacers are good, really good.

Second: The Heat, Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Warriors, and Rockets are all doing pretty much as expected.

Third: The 76ers, while “tanking”, are leading the Atlantic Division.

Last (pun intended): The Minnesota Timberwolves bench might be one of the worst of all time… Yes, of all time.

Without going into much of the detail, let me just tell you that Timberwolves fans (myself included) have a hard time cheering for, let alone watching, this dismal unit they call our “bench”. Through nine games of the 2013-14 season, this Timberwolves team (while playing really well and looking like a contender) have established a pattern that makes every fan cringe and leads to many mini-heart attacks come games end.

Here’s how it goes: build a lead, bench comes in, lose lead. Build a lead, bench comes in, lose lead. And so on, and so fourth, until finally the starters come in and either build a big enough lead to where bench play is irrelevant, make a late game run and win the game, or just flat out lose.

Anyways…I’ll cut to the chase. Here are the unbelievably embarrassing numbers that sum up your Minnesota Timberwolves 2013-14 second unit.

Minnesota Timberwolves bench (2013-14): Ranking in parenthesis.

Defensive Efficiency: -21.3 (Last)

Efficiency: 20.1 (Last)

FT Percentage: 63.9% (23rd)

3-pt Percentage: 17.8% (Last)

FG Percentage: 35.6% (Last)

Reb: 11.4 (24th)

PPG: 19.6 (Last)

Ast: 5.3 (25th)

Yeah… I wasn’t exaggerating. While this is a small sample size (8 games), and we are missing some key pieces (Budinger, Turiaf), being last in five categories is still pretty pathetic. And since this is so fun, I’ve decided to throw in one more category below to really boost our spirits!!

Bench Defensive Efficiency Ratings in November (since 1998):

1. Portland Trailblazers (2012-13): -25.6

2. Vancouver Grizzles (1999-00): -21.4

3. Minnesota Timberwolves (2013-14): -21.3

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (2012-13): -20.6

5. New York Knicks (2008-09): -19.9

So there you have it. So far, third worst defensive bench in the last fifteen years. Let’s just hope this doesn’t continue (we do have roughly three weeks of November left..)


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