NBA teams usually lean on their starting lineup to carry the workload. When your bench explodes for a season-high 78 points, life is a whole lot easier for coach Earl Watson. The Phoenix Suns defeated the Indiana Pacers by a score of 116-96 on Friday, as reported by ESPN.
It is very rare to see a bench in the NBA where five players score in double digits during the same game. That is exactly what Alan Williams, Jared Dudley, Tyler Ulis, Brandon Knight, and Leandro Barbosa managed to do.
Backup power forward Alan Williams is not a well-known name in the NBA, but he exploded for 15 points and 15 rebounds against the Indiana Pacers. He also contributed two steals and a block as well. Williams only missed one shot for the night, meaning that he might earn himself some more minutes in the rotation.
P.J. Tucker was the only member of the Phoenix Suns bench to fail to score in double digits. However, he still helped the team win with seven points, 10 rebounds, and two steals.
Brandon Knight and Jared Dudley combined for 11 assists, while Tyler Ulis disrupted the Indiana Pacers offense by stealing the ball four times.
T.J. Warren has been one of the most improved young players in the NBA this season. He only played nine minutes against the Indiana Pacers because the small forward is still not completely healthy.
Eric Bledsoe appeared pretty hellbent on being an offensive force. He took 10 shots in just 13 minutes. Bledsoe mostly stayed on the bench as Earl Watson opted to go with backup guards instead.
Devin Booker and Alex Len were the only two Phoenix Suns starters to score in double digits, but the shooting guard and center only combined for 23 points. Len did, however, contribute with 10 rebounds and three blocks.
Myles Turner led the way for the Indiana Pacers with 22 points. He shot very well and blocked two shots. Turner has been rising up the ranks when it comes to centers in the NBA, and he can speed that up even more by grabbing more rebounds. Against the Phoenix Suns, he only pulled down six.
With superstar small forward Paul George out with an injury, Jeff Teague decided to step up on offense. The former Atlanta Hawks point guard provided the Indiana Pacers with 21 points and seven assists. He was also very aggressive with his drive, getting to the free throw line a dozen times. Teague, however, also had six turnovers, which definitely hurt the Pacers’ chance of beating the Phoenix Suns.
Monta Ellis once looked like one of the brightest stars in the NBA. He was unable to step up in the absence of Paul George. The streaky shooting guard took 10 shots and missed eight of them. That type of shooting is going to hurt the Indiana Pacers to the point where they might look for a different option soon.
Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan utilized eight players off the bench, but he simply could not find a consistent contributor. They were clearly outplayed by the Phoenix Suns bench. The only reserve to play more than 20 minutes was Glenn Robinson III, and he only managed to contribute nine points.
Al Jefferson was signed in free agency over the summer to provide an offensive spark off of the bench, but the former Charlotte Hornets big man has been unable to do that. Jefferson only earned six minutes of playing time from Nate McMillan on Friday night. The Indiana Pacers were hoping that he would be playing 15-20 minutes a night.
[Featurd Image by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]