Thon Maker continues to impress in the NBA Summer League, and in doing so is making Milwaukee and Australian basketball fans lose their minds at the ridiculous potential he has.
After an extremely encouraging debut against the Cavaliers two days ago, Maker followed that great game up with an even better outing today against the NBA D-League Select team, albeit in a loss.
Maker finished with another double-double, totalling 17 points, 17 rebounds, and 2 MASSIVE blocks. Case in point below.
Maker was a rebounding force on both ends of the court, highlighted by a sequence in the first quarter which saw him grab two offensive rebounds and eventually finish with a nice hook shot.
For all the rebounds he grabbed and dunks he stuffed, Maker's ability and willingness to bring energy and effort was the real highlight. Diving for loose balls, having active hands on defence and running the floor with purpose are all facets of Maker's game. He is playing with a sense of urgency and not just going through the motions at Summer League.
Maker is doing things that 7'1" players just aren't supposed to be able to do. Grabbing the defensive board is all well and good, but then to take it upon himself to dribble all the way into the key, throw off defenders with a quick spin move and draw the foul - insane. Oh, and he also drained a three-pointer for good measure.
Whilst Maker is quickly putting together one of the best Summer League highlight reels in recent memory, it is clear he still has plenty of learning to do - as to be expected for a 19 year-old rookie. He is struggling to control his tendency to foul. Today, in 32 minutes on the court, he committed 6 fouls (players foul out after 10 in Summer League play).
Furthermore, Maker can sometimes find himself in poor positions on the floor because he tries to do too much. Whilst this can lead to bad shots or turnovers, it is something that can be easily rectified over time, especially when he is surrounded by veteran teammates.
Maker was disappointed with himself after allowing the D-League team to grab a key offensive rebound down the stretch. "I didn’t like it one bit because I’ve been grabbing rebounds both of these games and to me they don’t mean anything if I didn’t get that rebound right now. So they still don’t mean anything." Maker told ESPN.
This competitiveness is refreshing and displays the type of player Maker is and wants to continue to build upon.