During the regular season, the San Antonio Spurs heavily relied on their bench.
The Spurs did not just use their bench to give players rest during games, they used their bench as part-time starters to get extra rest for their three aging stars, power forward Tim Duncan, swingman Manu Ginobili and point guard Tony Parker.
That has not been the case in the postseason thus far.
“Our bench has to give us something,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Sunday, a day after the Mavericks took a 2-1 series lead on Vince Carter’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer to win Game 3 via Dan McCarney of Spurs Nation. “Three or four other guys, we’ve gotten a lot out of them all year long. They need to show up.”
Outside of Ginobili, the team’s sixth man, their other three primary bench players, Marco Belinelli, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw (plus Danny Green) have seen a huge regression from the regular season as shown by McCarney.
Belinelli minus 6.7 (11.4 in regular season, 4.7 against Dallas)
Mills minus 6.2 (10.2, 4.0)
Green, minus 6.1 (9.1, 3.0)
Diaw, minus 4.1 (9.1, 5.0)
The Mavericks, on the other hand, have gotten huge contributions from the likes of Carter and Devin Harris.