2017-2018 season stats:
- Minutes per game (25.9)
- Field goal percentage (.527)
- Total rebounds per game (6.8)
- Offensive (2.0)
- Defensive (4.8)
- Assists per game (1.5)
- Blocks per game (1.4)
- Steals per game (0.6)
Overview: The 2012 14th overall pick, John Henson has been a work in progress for the Milwaukee Bucks. After Greg Monroe got traded for Eric Bledsoe, a starting center position emerged and the coaches liked what they saw from John Henson.
A 6-year Bucks veteran finally got his chance to earn more minutes this season and he did so boosting his minutes per game to 25.9 from 19.4 the previous season. Last season Henson appeared in 58 games and started 39 while this season he appeared in 76 and started in 69.
The Bucks ranked dead last in the NBA in rebounding this season averaging 47.1 boards per game and unfortunately, rebounding isn’t Henson’s strong suit so they added Tyler Zeller to the active roster to try to bolster the teams rebounding numbers.
Henson’s experience, length, and athleticism is what gave him the starting job over the younger crop of centers the Bucks have acquired. Each season Henson has slowly but surely improved on some aspects of his game.
Highlights: John Henson appeared in 18 more games than he did last year becoming a pivotal part of a Bucks solid starting lineup. Each year Henson improves slowly in small aspects of the game, including an impressive field goal percentage of .527 making him a solid option around the rim. Henson is an above average finisher drawing quite a few fouls and getting to the charity stripe.
Hook shots are a crucial part of Henson’s game and very hard to defend no matter how tall the defender may be. Eric Bledsoe and John Henson’s chemistry on the pick and roll lead to a lot of buckets and kick outs to open shooters.
Henson doesn’t grab many offensive boards but when he does, they usually end up in easy put backs due to his 7’4” wingspan. The length helps on all aspects of his game being able to contest shots and get his arms in passing lanes.
Lowlights: John Henson has the height at 6’11” but his weight is one of the biggest concerns at the center position weighing in at a light 220 pounds. The bigger 4s and 5s like Andre Drummond have a huge advantage over Henson being able to back him down and go through him for rebounds giving the opposing team second chance opportunities. The rebounding was so atrocious the Bucks signed Tyler Zeller to the roster to boost the rebound stats.
Looks very awkward guarding stretch 5s who can pop threes like Al Horford. Henson ranked in the bottom half of offensive rebounds for bigs only averaging 2 a game, which means they don’t get solid second chance opportunities.
The deer are not getting a bang for their buck with Henson, paying him $11 million a year to be mediocre and consistently beat on the glass.
For Bucks fans, it was a long 82 games watching them get out rebounded night in and night out by teams with much bigger big men. In the NBA there aren’t many great centers that only weigh 220 pounds. Henson hasn’t looked like he has been able to put on much if any weight in the last couple of years.
The only reason this grade doesn’t drop any lower is because he became a factor in the offensive game with his efficient hook shots, and his work in the pick and roll with Eric Bledsoe has given the Bucks some easy buckets over the past season, all while posting a solid .527 field goal percentage.
Role for next Season: Henson signed a 4 year $44 million extension in the 2016-2017-season meaning he is under contract until the 2019-2020 season. One can only hope John Henson puts on some muscle in the off-season because the center position on the Bucks is heavily demanded.
In Henson’s replacement due to injury in the playoffs, Thon Maker has been on a mission and can challenge him for the starting spot or the Bucks could use their mid round pick on a new big man project for Bucks GM Jon Horst.