What happened to the Bench Mobb?
After the big December trades the Magic reserves, headlined and spurred on by Gilbert Arenas, decided to nickname themselves the “Bench Mob.” Once they were informed that the Lakers already call themselves the Bench Mob, it was suggested they add another “b” and play off of Mobb Deep. Thus the Bench Mobb was born.
That has pretty much been the extent of the Bench Mobb excitement. Their play as of late has been lacking, although some of that can be attributed to the J.J. Redick injury. Redick has missed 7 straight games causing the Magic to play Gilbert Arenas and Chris Duhon together in the backcourt. Gilhon is obviously a recipe for sloppy turnovers (yum!).
There ain’t no such thing as half-way bench stars (Shook Ones… stretch?) and regardless of injuries, the production just simply hasn’t been there.
On Wednesday night’s telecast, Jeff Van Gundy called the magic bench “substandard” and later added that the Magic “have the worst bench in the league.” While that is clearly going too far, it goes to show the respect that others have for the so called, BENCH MOBB.
There is no doubt that team depth is important, but few would point to it as a true difference maker. However, the stats say otherwise.
For the season, Orlando is averaging 28.5 ppg from its reserves (2,050 points). Prior to the trades, the bench scoring doesn’t really show a real connection between points scored and wins/losses. However, post trade… it shows quite the opposite.
Before Trade (W-L)
BENCH MOBB (W-L)
|< 20ppg||3-2||< 20ppg||3-5|
In the last 10 games, the Magic have gone 6-4 and the bench has averaged only 19.5 ppg. Gilbert’s play has been sporadic the entire season but Ryan Anderson had been a double figure guarantee. Ryan had scored in double figures in 22 of the first 25 games following the trades, but has hit 10+ only 7 times in the last 16 games. The bench scoring is predominately reliant on Arenas, Redick and Anderson performing and right now they are performing about as well as Chris Brown’s PR team.
Obviously the absence of J.J. Redick is the biggest contributor to the lack of scoring, but it’s important to note the lack of balanced scoring.
Orlando had at least six players score in double figures in seven straight games from Dec. 27-Jan. 8, which is the longest such streak in the NBA during the last 18 seasons. That balanced scoring led to a 7-0 record for the team.
Luckily for the Magic, Dwight and the starters have been picking up the slack and helped Orlando run off 4 straight wins. However, as the playoffs approach and every minute matters, it will be crucial that the Bench Mobb has more consistency and less Quiet Storms.
You can watch some video of the Bench Mobb antics taken by the Czar of Bench Mobb Coverage, Zach McCann, here.
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