Milwaukee Bucks backup center Samuel Dalembert had a career performance Tuesday night against the Denver Nuggets. Even though the Bucks lost the game it was still great to watch Dalembert go off in a way his teammates wish he would display every night.
Dalembert scored a career-high 35 points and managed to haul in 12 rebounds in just 27 minutes of game time. Why is this considered to be a record performance? Dalembert joined Darius Miles and Ron Anderson as the only three players in NBA history to have at least 35 points and 12 rebounds while coming off the bench. On top of that, since Dalembert was an impressive 17 of 21 from the floor he became the first bench player in history to put up the points and rebounds that he did while also shooting 80 percent from the field.
The 31-year-old’s previous season-best scoring feat was 27 points, which occurred on March 14, 2011. Dalembert topped Ben Gordon’s 34 points as the most points scored by a player off of the bench this season.
How is it that Dalembert was able to pull this kind of effort out of thin air?
“We tried to see how they liked to play defensively and I tried to find the open spot for myself,” Dalembert said. “Today the shots were falling for me and I just kept going with the flow.”
This kind of performance is usually seen when a player does not have the respect of the opposing team at the start of the game and just happens to get hot at the right time. The Nuggets did not believe Dalembert could make the shots he was sinking but he proved them wrong when they doubted him most.
“I don’t know if we challenged any of his shots, really, but in the second half we at least got a little better respect for him,” Denver head coach George Karl said. “He still made one or two I didn’t think he could make.”
Even though the native of Haiti showed plenty of potential against the Nuggets and proved that Milwaukee might just have the best bench in all of basketball, his performance is still something Bucks fans should not get used to seeing. With that being said, Dalembert may get a good opportunity to show off again Wednesday night as starting center Larry Sanders may miss the game with a back injury.