Okay. So it’s great that Bender has now had four “good” games in a row. They might not have been “good” in the way that a Luka Doncic game is “good”, but scoring in the teens is an accomplishment for Bender, and now he’s probably established himself as a player who deserves more minutes than he was getting before the Ayton/Holmes injuries.
But he’s gotta take the next step. These good scoring performances are just the foundation on which to build ever better scoring performances. The acronym I like to use in these situations is “YGSIU”: You Gotta Step It Up. I usually say it out loud: IGG-CEE-YEW. I said it about five times during the course of editing this highlight video, because I want Bender to aim for a point total in the twenties.
Bender did score in the twenties once last season, and I remember it was a pretty big deal. People thought that he had finally gotten past whatever mental or physical roadblock it was that was preventing from being good. It turns out that he hadn’t gotten past that roadblock, but it was really fun to pretend he had for a few days. And I want to feel that fun again.
So, Dragan, if you’re reading this, remember: YGSIU. YGSIU. YGSIU. If it helps, translate it into Croatian.