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Bench outplaying starters

3/5/2012

For the second straight game, the Knicks' bench went off.

Knicks reserves scored 45 on Sunday against Boston. They had 50 on Wednesday against Cleveland.

"We've got a lot of athleticism," Baron Davis said. "Just good basketball players in our backcourt coming off our bench. At any moment any one of us can be out there making a huge difference."

Steve Novak had 14 points and went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc on Sunday. Iman Shumpert had 14 on 6-of-9 shooting, including a thunderous third-quarter dunk. Davis had eight points, seven assists and six turnovers.

In plus/minus rating, a measurement of the score during an individual's time on the floor, the Knicks' bench is outplaying the starters, according to ESPN Stats & Information's William Cohen.

In a combined 89 fewer individual minutes played, the Knicks' five bench players (Davis, J.R. Smith, Shumpert, Novak, Jared Jeffries) have averaged an individual plus-19.8 while the starters (Jeremy Lin, Landry Fields, Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler) have averaged an individual minus-1.4.

In the last two games, the Knicks' starters as a five-man unit are minus-13 in 28 minutes and the Knicks' bench as a five-man unit is plus-17 in 22 minutes.

Stats courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information's William Cohen