Discussion in 'Phoenix Suns' started by pokerface, Apr 26, 2017.
He’s too young to write off, but he hasn’t shown enough to be optimistic, IMO.
The problem is that his height demands skills that his background did not develop. Wasn't Bender a Point Guard until his growth spurt?
Just as with Bledsoe and Knight (at the other extreme). NBA players without the skills to suit their size. Players without a position at which to excel.
All three of them, just as the Brazilian Blur, have one role they could fit -- instant offense off the bench, but not in the rotation.
What concerns me the most about Bender is how sluggish he looks. He has a certain amount of agility once he gets going, but there's a tremendous amount of inertia to overcome. Since he doesn't have the bulk (or inclination, apparently) to play down low, he's going to have to figure out a way to make it work on the perimeter. But anything that requires a quick move or even balance adjustment seems to be beyond him. The reason he looks so lost so often is that the game is too fast for him -- maybe not for his mind, but for his body.
I don't think Bender lacks heart. Chriss may, but Bender seems to care a great deal when he's on the court. Perhaps he cares too much. I think a lot of his issues are mental.
I have no idea what's wrong with Bender. We've seen him play well, so we know he is capable of it. I just don't understand why he refuses to shoot the ball, attack the rim, etc. THREE freaking shots yesterday, and he even played in garbage time. His head is up his ass, and he needs to yank it out of there quickly.
Jay Triano offers some encouraging thoughts about Bender in a Scott Bordow article.
Apparently the coaches have encouraged Bender to shoot from outside as an early step of his development.
I was hoping for a better year from our sophomore trio of Chriss, Bender and Ulis. Perhaps not consistency (that would however been the best, like with Booker) but more flashes and some "break out" games. Looks like Jackson is going to jump all of them and that's okay. Let's not forget that big men usually take longer, so I will at least stay patient even though I must admit I was hoping for more.
You can call it heart or you can call it intensity or whatevery you want but he doesn't fight hard for rebounds or be aggressive going to the basket.
I agree completely...every word.
Bender was always an elite prospect ahead of his peers, so he moved up quickly. I remember, even as a highly touted prospect, he wasn't contributing much because he was playing at a high level and so they used him as a role player. Doncic is the exception in Europe.
My theory is that for the past several years (Euroleague, national team, Suns) Bender has always been treated and coached as a role player and so that's what he has come to identify himself as. I think it's a confidence issue, and it doesn't seem like ha has the innate personality to overcome it.
I bet if we brought in a new coach who featured him (not playing time; playing style) he would have a chance to flourish. The problem is, that requires a lot of dedication to struggling to reach an end result that is far from guaranteed. This would be the year to do it, and it doesn't seem like it's happening.
I can see that but unfortunately I don't see him being featured a lot offensively while with the Suns through the remainder of this season. Trying to get him to try something totally new for him could end in disaster while up on the main roster. His confidence could get hurt bad if they try to use him differently and he struggles really bad. They should send him down to the G-League for a week or two and ask him to run the offense, as a scorer and playmaker but primarily as a scorer. There isn't that much time left to send him down for long, hopefully Williams comes back soon so we can spare the time without him if he is assigned to the NAZ.
That's one of the upsides to having your own G-League team, you can send a player down to work on a specific aspect of their game in an environment where their skill should allow them to out play their opposition and do things easier than they could against actual NBA competition on the main roster. The Suns would need to make sure that he's used in a similar fashion when he comes back to the main roster so he has some consistency and confidence behind his actions. I know Assistant coaches follow players on assignment sometimes but I doubt the Suns are in a position to send one with Bender now. They've had an interim staff all year basically since they fired Watson and don't have a clear cut player development coach or lead assistant that could make sure Bender would be used down their like the Suns would use him once he returned. Sending him with directives should be good enough though. It would be better than playing him sparingly as just a role player on the main roster for 20 minutes a night.
After reading Triano's comments (above), the Suns have a plan on how to bring Bender up to speed on the NBA level. It started with him spreading the court and taking the 3 point shot. He is shooting a respectable .375 from that range.
Apparently the next step is to fake the 3 and work on driving the ball to the basket and scoring inside. As I suspected strength is an issue. Hopefully he continues to get stronger. It will probably take him until next season where he is strong enough to finish more often than not.
Bender has been playing defense so I'm happy with that.
Since Triano has a plan for Bender's development... I'm content with him staying with the big team. I'm not sure he would accomplish more with the G-League while he is under the watchful eye of Triano.
I like that there's a plan for him and sounds like the right one if he gets stronger and starts believing in himself a little more.
That's at least part of his issue. He was also only a role player (and a quiet one) for the croatian national team.
Right now, he is the invisible man on the court. He has to do better than dropping eggs in the stat line.
We need to draft a pf. I am all for giving guys time to develop but they need to show SOMETHING.
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