2. Top-10 reserve units meet
As previously pointed out, the Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings have similar records and remarkable similarities in their starting backcourts.
So it’s not a complete surprise that much of the success on both sides this season has come from having deep, productive benches.
The Nets are second in the NBA in bench scoring at 47.1 points per game. Sacramento ranks seventh, getting 42.9 points per game from its reserves.
Brooklyn’s bench bunch is led by Spencer Dinwiddie, who is averaging 17.1 points and 5.0 assists per game (he has made four starts) while shooting 46.2 percent overall and 37.3 percent from deep.
After a bit of a slow stretch (not using that other five-letter “s” word), Dinwiddie has 53 points in his last two games, including 33 — 25 in the fourth quarter and overtime — in Wednesday’s dramatic comeback win over the Houston Rockets, a game in which Dinwiddie buried three 3-pointers down the stretch in regulation and later had the go-ahead three-point play.
Dinwiddie scored 20 in Friday’s come-from-behind win over the Orlando Magic, including a four-point play with 54.9 seconds remaining that gave Brooklyn its first lead since it was 2-0.
DeMarre Carroll has been productive off the bench, averaging 10.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game since missing the first 11 games of the season following ankle surgery.
He’s been particularly toasty over his last 11 games, scoring in double figures in 10 of those games. Over that stretch, he’s putting up 15.5 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 45.3 percent overall and 41.9 percent from deep.
And then there’s Ed Davis, the best backup big in the league who is averaging 8.5 rebounds in just 18.0 minutes per game and leads the league in offensive and total rebounding percentage. Shabazz Napier has also been playing well of late for the reserve unit.
Bogdanovic is putting up 15.2 points and 3.9 dimes in 26.9 minutes per game, while Bagley — healthy again after missing 11 games from mid-December to early January with a bruised knee — is averaging 12.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in 23.1 minutes per game.
The Nets often have the bench advantage, but they’ll have to work to hold it on Monday.