Bucks fans were frustrated all season long with the play of Thon Maker. After playing solid basketball last postseason, he was due to make incredible strides this regular season. After starting for the first part of the season and then playing a bench role for the Bucks, he never found his groove. Some games he was never even included in the rotation. Due to the lack of production during the regular season, Thon was viewed as a disappointment.
The highlights of Thon’s season are games 3-7 against the Boston Celtics in the playoffs. John Henson tweaked his back during game 2, so now it was Thon’s time to shine. After some not so stellar Tyler Zeller minutes, Thon came in and brought the energy immediately. One big thing that most people point to are the blocks, which he had 5 in both games 3 and 4, and that is very impressive. However, one thing that I noticed was his awareness when spacing the floor. Thon has the ability to shoot unlike our other centers, so he doesn’t clog the lane at all when Giannis is in there. With Thon on the outside, Giannis is able to attack the basket at will and if the defense collapses he can pass to whoever on the outside and they can knock down a shot. I firmly believe that Thon is secretly everyone’s favorite player and when he gets going the entire crowd gets going.
I would have to say that Thon’s lowlight is when he was the starter in the beginning of the season. The high expectations of Bucks fans and the production that was being displayed by Thon was not evenly matched at all. He would miss passes, not be able to catch the ball, and end up in the middle of the lane while guards and centers ran around him to get to the rack. The rebounding was the most frustrating part. Opposing centers took advantage of Thon’s slimmer frame and bullied him for rebounds on both sides of the floor. Thon’s production was so poor that Giannis was unable to save him at many points throughout the season, and normally Giannis is Thon’s saving grace.
I honestly was thinking of giving him a D+ rating but the performance he displayed in the playoffs was inspiring and gave me hope in the future. Thon was terrible during the regular season. He gave a great effort no matter what but the skills did not match on a night to night basis. I believe that his ceiling is a B+ and that will come if he learns to take more 3s and have more confidence going forward.
Role Next Season: Backup Center
The Bucks were very poor when it came to the centers and this summer they will either draft someone who can contribute right away or acquire an experienced center either through free agency or a trade. This puts Thon on the bench but he can still be productive after the starter wears the defender down or Thon is put on the bench player. A huge thing for Thon to master this offseason is his ball handling skills, so if he goes in for Giannis the Bucks won’t lack too much there. Thon will develop into a solid NBA player, just have some patience.
Also check out my other article on Thon, you won’t regret it.