The NBA Summer League hardly means anything in the long run. A lot of bad NBA players have torn it up, so you have to take these things lightly. However, everything you heard about Thon Maker after the Bucks drafted him was how raw he was. A lot of scouts and analysts said it would be a couple seasons before he’s ready to compete at the NBA level.
Don’t get it twisted, Maker is raw and he’s not ready to take the actual NBA by storm. That being said, the Bucks front office has to be extremely encouraged by the way he’s playing in summer league.
On Friday night, Maker had 15 points and 13 rebounds against Cleveland’s Summer League roster, along with an entertaining highlight film:
On Sunday, he followed that performance up with a 17 point and 17 rebound performance with a couple of monster blocks:
His worst performance came on Monday in a loss against the Grizzlies. The first-round draft pick had 10 points, but was a little to aggressive on the defense end, accruing 10 fouls (players foul out after ten fouls, not the regular season standard of six).
Maker has excelled on the perimeter defensively switching picks, which is key in today’s NBA. He has also shown a lot of ability protecting the rim, specifically from the help side. Maker may develop into the Bucks best interior defender, which is a role the Bucks need badly.
He’s struggled boxing out at times, specifically against the D-League Select Team, when he gave up offensive rebounds off of free throws on back to back possessions at the end of the game.
Offensively, he’s gotten himself open with regularity. Maker has shown a keen court sense, especially along the baseline, of where he needs to be for drop off passes from guards that are penetrating. He’s even hit a few jumpers, and his form looks decently clean.
Once again, dominating Summer League hardly means anything, but struggling and not being able to contribute in Summer League is a major worry. Maker has been the best player on the roster for the Bucks, and he doesn’t look as behind the curve as everyone thought.
The #18 seed Bucks continue Summer League play on Wednesday at 9 PM CT against the #15 seed Dallas Mavericks in the Las Vegas tournament.
Image courtesy of foxsports.com.