In any sport, but especially in basketball, there’s nothing quite like having that spark off the bench—high-energy scorers that don’t make many mistakes and can replace a starter with well...a starter. That sixth or seventh man that can score a quick 15 points, bury a devastating trey, or play “this guy is grinding disgustingly hard on my hips” defense. Every winning team has one.
The 1960s Boston Celtics had the scrappy, can’t stop hustling John Havlicek. Besides being quick and smart with the ball, the Ohio State alum averaged 20.8 ppg over a 16-year Hall of Fame career.
Also, who can forget the Croatian Sensation Toni Kukoc for Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in the '90s or Rasheed Wallace on the 2004 Pistons?
There’s no getting around it. A deep bench is crucial to a winning formula. Below are five guys that could make or break their respective teams shot at a championship. Mind the pine.