The San Antonio Spurs are currently the best team in the West with 40-14 record. While Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker remains to be the biggest reasons why the Spurs has been successful, there is no doubt that this season; the team had relied on their bench and role players perhaps more than ever.
The recent addition of Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw and Patty Mills have made the Spurs deeper than most us thought they would be. Add the fact that rookie Kawhi Leonard fits in like a pro and Tiago Splitter, Danny Green, Gary Neal, Matt Bonner and DeJuan Blair filling their roles to a tea, then there is enough reason to believe that this Spurs team might just win their fifth title this year.
But that's a little too far ahead between now and the playoffs a lot of things can happen. Health is another thing the Spurs should look at going into the post season, that is why giving rest to their starters will be huge from here on out.
In the meantime, the Spurs are riding-high on their second 11 win streak of the season, thanks in large part to a productive bench that has averaged 56.8 points in their last five games.
To highlight, how the bench has contributed to the Spurs success, here's a few example. The reserves scored 44 points of the team's 87-86 win over Boston and then erupted for 82 points in blowout victory against the Hornets.
Indeed, the offensive firepower that the Spurs bench possess this season is something other NBA teams should be wary about. Not only that, their player development has likewise helped the Spurs this season a whole lot.
Green has been playing well on both on ends of the floor and his relentless style in defense is a thing of beauty, Leonard has been unfazed when asked to defend the other team's top scorer and he can do some scoring too, Neal and Bonner has been hitting their outside shots and Blair and Splitter has been both a steady presence on the inside for the Spurs that certainly helped the team produce 40 wins in just 54 games.
Tonight, they will have their true test when they face a Utah Jazz team that is fighting for a playoff spot without either Duncan, Ginobili or Parker to help them on the floor.
Having clinched a playoff spot, the Spurs will try to extend their 11-game winning streak without their stars. The trio stayed behind in San Antonio rather than travel to Salt Lake City.
Coach Gregg Popovich called the decision a ''no brainer'' looking at the schedule, with 12 games remaining.