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The Spurs' bench could be a playoff team

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If San Antonio's reserves split off and started a team of their own, with league average players to join them, the numbers suggest that they'd be the sixth best team in the NBA.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It's the second piece of the day I'm featuring from FiveThirtyEight, (the previous one was on Kawhi Leonard and Larry Bird) but it's certainly worth it. Again, it's from Neil Paine, and again it's excellent. Let's cut straight to the money line:

if the Spurs' bench were to break off and form its own team, it would be either the second-best team in the NBA — trailing only the Spurs' starters in terms of per-possession production this season — or the third-best, if you take a page from our Elo rating system's book and give Golden State credit for its longer track record of greatness. Either way, the Spurs have a ridiculous advantage over the rest of the league.

And then, as if that wasn't emphatic enough, there's this eye-popping chart:

spurs-bench-538

Um, that's kind of spectacular. I could go on about it, but there's a big game tomorrow that I'm still prepping for, not to mention that Paine did a great job fleshing it out, and it's certainly worth your time to read if you have the time.