Earlier this week, Rob Mahoney of SI.com gave some thoughts on the Portland Trail Blazers' new-look bench.
[Blazers coach Terry] Stotts went to great lengths to keep his starters on the floor for as long as possible, and as a result Portland assigned the fewest minutes to its subs in the NBA. Even in that reduced sum, though, we're talking about some 6,400 minutes logged by fairly marginal NBA players - the kind that even standout talents such as LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard could not redeem.
That should soon change, as Portland's offseason renovation sought to primarily address that woeful second line. Swingman Dorell Wright and guard Mo Williams were signed at bargain rates in free agency. Power forward Thomas Robinson and center Robin Lopez arrived in trades that didn't cost Portland much. Guards CJ McCollum and Allen Crabbe should log minutes immediately after being drafted in June. There are plenty of individually compelling pieces in that lot, but of even greater interest to Portland is the synergy of adding so many useful and versatile players at once. A complete bench overhaul allows Stotts to mold lineups from scratch - an endeavor facilitated by the fact that most every player acquired is capable of filling minutes at multiple positions.
The Blazers still face brutal competition to make the postseason, but correcting the NBA's worst bench brings them that much closer to solvency.
Thanks to ponderguy in the FanShots.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter