The Emergence of Thon Maker


It has been a rather extended wait time, but the world is finally seeing what Thon Maker can do on a professional basketball court.

Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd is finally giving the 10th overall pick in last year’s draft meaningful playing time. Maker drew his second career start, and his first at the center position.

Kidd has had a difficult time getting Maker any playing time over the course of the season due to Milwaukee already having three centers on the roster (Greg Monroe, John Henson and Miles Plumlee). But with the Bucks struggling, Kidd opted to start Maker against the Celtics this past Saturday. In doing this, Miles Plumlee didn’t see the floor, and John Henson recorded only seven meaningless-minutes while Greg Monroe and Thon Maker saw the most minutes at the center position.

Maker only recorded 10 minutes, but his presence was felt especially during the third quarter. Maker sparked a run that got Milwaukee back in the game against the always tough Boston Celtics. In the span of just a few series, Thon recorded a block on the defensive end, following up with a dunk on the offensive end. Everybody began feeding off Maker’s energy.

Bucks point-forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was the first to speak out about how Maker’s emphatic rejection enriched the Bucks’ comeback:

“The moment that he did that, I got so much energy. We need that right now”, Giannis said in the locker room after the game.

Giannis wasn’t the only one who spoke out about Maker’s play.

“He gave us energy, and I thought he changed the game in the second half” said Jason Kidd in a post-game press conference.

The Bucks came up just short against the Celtics, losing 108-112 in overtime. Milwaukee has been struggling as of late, losing eight out of their past nine. But the spark that Thon Maker gave them in just a small amount of minutes might be the key to them getting back on track. Jason Kidd confirmed that Thon will start at center again Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz.

If Kidd wants to give him long-term minutes, Bucks General Manager John Hammond may want to explore trade options for at least one, if not two of his other three centers, who own a huge chunk of Milwaukee’s payroll over the next several years. The trade deadline is just a few weeks away, so we should soon see what Milwaukee wants to do with its future.



About Eric Peterson

The Lead's Chief of Content

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