Bender managed 15 points (5-6 FG, 3-4 3Pt, 2-3 FT), 13 rebounds, three assists and two blocks during Tuesday's 124-97 win at Dallas.
This was Bender's second straight double-double as he concluded the season in a strong way Tuesday. The Croatia native appeared in every game for the Suns this year and averaged 6.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists during his second NBA season with the Suns.
Bender posted 14 points (6-13 FG, 2-7 3Pt), 14 rebounds and two assists across 41 minutes in Sunday's 117-100 loss to the Warriors.
Bender has come alive as the season winds down, exhibiting a level of offensive usage that fantasy owners waited all season to see. The 2016 fourth overall pick has now taken double-digit shot attempts in back-to-back games for the first time this season, and he's generated a trio of 14-point efforts over the first four games of April. He's been as impressive on the glass as on the scoreboard during that stretch, hauling in between seven and Sunday's 14 rebounds over that four-game sample. It's essentially a case of too little, too late for fantasy purposes at this stage, but the second-year big certainly makes for an intriguing DFS play in the Suns' final game of the season Tuesday against the Mavericks.
Bender posted 14 points (5-10 FG, 4-8 3Pt), eight rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot in 33 minutes during Friday's 122-103 loss to the Pelicans.
Bender drew the start on Friday as he's done often this season while the Suns dealt with injuries and lineup changes for most of the campaign. At only 19 -years-old, the young Croatian has a ton of potential and will be one of the key pieces Phoenix will build with next season. at 7-1, he's a multi-faceted talent who has great perimeter flexibility and can put up shots from beyond the arc as well as any small forward. If you are in a keeper or dynasty league Bender might end up overlooked, but his value will only increase with more experience.
Bender produced eight points (3-7 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 1-2 FT), seven rebounds and two blocks across 21 minutes in Tuesday's 97-94 win over the Kings.
The 20-year-old forward had a solid shooting effort for the third straight contest after an extended stretch of some nightmarish offensive performances. The 2016 fourth overall pick still generates modest scoring totals more often than not, but his rebound production has remained fairly consistent. Factoring in Tuesday's production, he's hauled in between six and 10 boards in seven of the last 10 contests.
Bender mustered just three points (1-7 FG, 1-6 3Pt) but added 10 rebounds, two blocks and one steal across 34 minutes in Monday's 102-94 loss to the Celtics.
Bender continues to struggle with his shot, as he's now gone just 3-for-18 from the field over the last three -- including 2-for-14 from distance. The second-year pro has shot under 40.0 percent in six of the last seven overall, which has helped lead to a paltry average of 5.7 points in 12 March contests. His one saving grace has been rebounding, as he's posted between five and 10 boards in six of the last seven games. Despite his struggles, coach Jay Triano appears intent on keeping him on the first unit alongside fellow sophomore big Marquese Chriss in the frontcourt.
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