Every so often a player needs to make a statement, Anthony Bennett did that in the loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Anthony Bennett may have finally found his feet in the NBA. He may finally have found the answer to the questions in his game. The background for this story is that the Brooklyn Nets have offered Donatas Motiejunas an offer sheet which is for $37 million over four years., per Woj via twitter.
What this means is that Brooklyn will sign Motiejunas, if the Houston Rockets who hold the rights to the restricted free agent, do not match it. If this happens then there will most likely be a player squeezed out of the power forward position and out of the NBA. This was either going to be Luis Scola or Anthony Bennett.
Fortunately for Bennett, Trevor Booker was ruled out of the game against the Milwaukee Bucks and Bennett, who was assigned to the D-League briefly this week was gifted the starting power forward role.
How did Bennett respond? Like a man who was playing for his NBA career. He only played 23 minutes due to the four fouls but he made the most of his minutes on the court. Bennett only scored seven points on 3-of-6 shooting, missing all of his three shots from distance.
However, what Bennett did was rebound. Bennett collect 14 rebounds, which is just under one-third of Brooklyn’s total rebound count of 46. Four of these these rebounds were on the offensive end, giving Brooklyn extra chance points.
How did Luis Scola go? Bennett’s direct competition only played 10 minutes thanks to Bennett’s play and Scola scored seven points on 3-of-4 shooting and three rebounds.
What does this tell me, it wells me that the Brooklyn Nets must keep Anthony Bennet and this is not just based on one game, this is based on a lot of things. Sometimes it can take time and thought to figure out a talented players best style of game to help them and the team.
It took Derrick Williams a number of years before the New York Knicks finally unlocked the key to Williams being successful. Don’t run plays specifically for him, let him create, especially in an open court.
Perhaps the penny has finally dropped with Bennett. Perhaps watching Trevor Booker play has help the former number one pick realize that playing to your potential is about doing what the team needs, when the team needs it.
If Williams and Booker can learn this, why can’t Bennett? The second factor is age. Scola is 36, his career has been in decline for a little while and he is really not the future for any club. He has zero trade value and is just a body filling up the bench. Bennett is 23 and has the potential for a whole career ahead of him.
Coach Kenny Atkinson is appearing to be brilliant by making a silk purse out of a sows ear. The good coaches do this, using their players strengths to benefit the team. If Bennett is given a clear role within a game, then he should be able to use his talent to get it done.
I hope that the Nets get Motiejunas, I really do. He would make them better as long as his back was able to hold up for the contract. I do not think that it should be at the expense of Anthony Bennett, particularly after the way that he showed he could play today.