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What Is A Bench Player in Basketball?

What Is A Bench Player in Basketball?

What Is A Bench Player in Basketball?

In a regulation game of basketball, a minimum of five players are needed to start the game. These five players, playing the point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, and center positions will start the beginning of the game and commence the tip-off.

However, with 48 minutes in a regulation NBA game, it is simply too difficult for any one player to play for the full duration of the game. Therefore, an additional seven players are needed to complete the full roster.

These seven additional players, seated on the bench at the start of the game, are known as bench players. Below, we are going to look at just what a bench player is, how they can affect the outcome of the game, and how you can be a better bench player for your team.

In addition, we are going to discuss ways you can improve your own game and basketball skills to make it off the bench and to begin play at the start the game.

What Is A Bench Player in Basketball?

Who Are The Bench Players in Basketball?

As mentioned above, a bench player in basketball is a basketball player that does not begin play at the start of the game. Rather, a bench player will be substituted into the game on an as needed basis. This can be due to fatigue, injury, or for a specialized set of skills that may be needed at a particular moment.

Typically, particularly in the NBA, the bench players are composed of a mix of differing position types, ranging from point and shooting guards, to small and power forwards, to centers. This is done to ensure sufficient coverage to provide substitutions in the case of fatigue or injury of one of the starting five players.

What Is Bench Scoring?

In a game of basketball, a mix of efficient and talented players are needed to ensure a healthy combination of offensive and defensive excellence. However, within the NBA specifically, points scored from players coming off the bench are recorded within the stat books and stat line as bench scoring.

While the total points scored and eventual outcome of the game does not differentiate between which player scored, for better analysis and to view areas of improvement, players who came off the bench will have their points scored bucketed under bench scoring.

Bench scoring, to put it simply, is just the number of points scored by any player who came off the bench and was able to successfully score while playing in the game. And as basketball is a high-paced, fast-action game, players coming off the bench need to be able to match the initial energy, speed, and tempo of their counterparts who started the game.

How Many Minutes Do Bench Players Average?

Dependent on the league and an individual players level of skill, an individual bench player’s minutes played can range from no play to nearly the full game. When it comes to the number of minutes a bench player plays on the court, the determining factor, quite simply, is the overall level of skill of that individual player.

In determining whether or not to substitute a bench player into the game, typically the head coach and their assistant coaches will assess the needs of the players on the court, the opposing teams strengths and weaknesses, and a bench players ability to make an immediate impact on the game.

If it is determined that a bench player will have an overall positive impact on the game and will be able to assist the team towards victory, then they will likely see more playing time and time on the court.

Are Starting Players Better Than Bench Players in Basketball?

In a game of basketball, all individual players contribute to the overall success and performance of the team. However, certain players may simply be better basketball players then other players.

And, typically, the starting five players, that is the players who start the game and play the majority of the game, are usually more adept and proficient at the game then the players on the bench. However, that is not to say that the bench players are not good players.

On the contrary, being able to make the basketball team and to be able to provide the additional backup, resources, and basketball excellence that a team needs, still qualifies bench players as excellent basketball players.

How to Be a Better Bench Player

While sitting on the bench during a basketball game can be difficult and feel like a form of rejection and failure, nothing can be further from the truth. Bench players play an integral part of any team and can significantly affect the outcome of the game, even from the bench.

Below, we are going to review the best ways to be a better bench player.

  • Be Happy for Your Teammates – The first thing you should do to be a great bench player in basketball is to be happy for your teammates.  Although you may not have started the game with them, you should always wish them the best of luck and success both on and off the court.
  • Bring Your A-Game – Just because you may not be starting the game, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring you’re a-game.  As a bench player, it is important to understand that at any moment the coach may substitute you into the game.  Whether it is for your offensive or defensive skills, you should be prepared to enter the game at all times.  This means ensuring you are in the proper mental and physical state for the game and are keeping tabs on the game so that you are ready to enter and play at a moment’s notice.
  • Be Enthusiastic Through-and-Through – A great bench player is enthusiastic throughout the entirety of the game.  They cheer their fellow players on and mourn their misses with them.  As a great bench player, you should bring your enthusiasm for both the game and your teammates during every play and throughout every quarter of the game.

How to Become a Starting Player in Basketball

While you may currently be a bench player and coming off the bench to play in the game, there are a few key ways to help elevate your position within the team to become a starting player. Below, we are going to review some of the key ways to become a starter on your team.

  • Brush Up On Your Basketball Fundamentals – one of the easiest ways to become a better basketball player is to brush up on your basketball fundamentals. From dribbling, to passing, to shooting, to rebounding, brushing up on those skills will make you a better player and a more likely starter.
  • Hustle During Practice – similarly, in order to become a starter on your team, you will need to prove your willingness to your basketball coach. A great way to do so is to hustle in every play during practice. From fighting for rebounds, to playing tough defense, to making the extra pass, these skills will showcase your basketball IQ and make you a more all-around player.
  • Identify Your Weaknesses – one of the best ways to become a better basketball player is to identify your weaknesses. By being honest with yourself on where you are lacking and can improve, you’ll be able to focus on those areas and become a better player.