Phoenix Suns: Bender is making the most of his opportunities

Phoenix Suns Dragan Bender (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Dragan Bender (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In what looks to be an audition of sorts whether it be for the Phoenix Suns or another team out there, Dragan Bender is making the most out of his opportunities.

In the absence of Deandre Ayton and Richaun Holmes due to ankle sprains in this latest stretch of Phoenix Suns basketball, Bender has seized the opportunity given to him in a brief period of time.

Starting the last four contests, Bender posted a double-double in both games against the Timberwolves, 14 points and 5 rebounds against the Nuggets, and scored 17 points on 50% shooting overall and from deep against the Trail Blazers. He has stepped up when need be and it has been nice to see even for a small stretch like this.

Before this stretch, Bender was averaging less than 10 minutes per game. That has spiked to around 29.2 minutes per game while playing against premiere big men like Karl Anthony-Towns and Nikola Jokic, as well as one of the better centers in the league in Jusuf Nurkic.

Head Coach Igor Kokoskov has praised Bender for his effort. Other teammates, like Kelly Oubre Jr, have also given him props for showing out on the court when his number is called.

What exactly does this mean for Dragan Bender and the Phoenix Suns going forward?

Well for starters, this probably won’t be enough of a push to get him more playing time on the court once Holmes and Ayton return. The status for both big men is considered day-to-day so Bender’s return to the pine is inevitable.

With that said, should something happen in the frontcourt again then Bender may look to again make the most of his opportunities. Think of it as an audition if not for the Suns but other teams out there who may be interested in his services moving forward.

Bender’s time with the Suns has been quite the ride to say the least. At times he’s looked good and sometimes he’s looked subpar. In fairness to him, the Suns did not do him any favors in the first place at the beginning of his career.

Next. The Phoenix Suns should try out Josh Jackson at point guard. dark

However, it’s still nice to see him play well when he gets the opportunity.