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Aussies in NBA: Maker, Dellavedova named starters in Milwaukee
Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd attempted to reform his starting lineup against the Heat today, elevating Aussie duo Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker into the starting unit.
The move marks Maker's first career start in the NBA while for Dellavedova, the promotion marks a return to the starting guard spot since returning from a hamstring injury six games prior.
Maker received the call up after Bucks forward Jabari Parker was benched for a violation of team rules. The Aussie rookie played a career high 18 minutes and posted 6 points, 1 rebound and 1 steal in the Bucks' 109-97 loss.
Maker made just one field goal, a 3-pointer off of a pick and pop play between Matthew Dellavedova and himself during the fourth quarter.
In 35 minutes of action, Dellavedova scored 15 points on 5-8 shooting including 2-3 from downtown and dished out 7 assists.
With Parker now having served his punishment, Maker will more than likely return to the bench for the Bucks' next game.
In Dellavedova's case however, it remains unclear whether or not he will remain in the starting line up moving forward. Prior to tip-off against Miami, Jason Kidd cited Dellavedova's comfortability as the reason for his return to the starting unit.
"We've got to get him some confidence," Kidd said before the game. "We've got to get him back in the swing of things. I thought instead of waiting, let's get him so he might not stiffen up. Let's see where he's at."
Dellavedova had previously started all 30 games before going down with a hamstring injury in late December. The Bucks were an even 15-15 at the time and occupied a playoff spot. However, the strong individual play of rookie point guard Malcolm Brogdon during Delly's absence, means Dellavadova has had no guarantee on the starting spot, as we move into the second half of the season.
While Dellavedova had an efficient and effective game against Miami in his return to the starting unit, the Bucks still lost. Kidd may not be done alternating his rotations as he looks to find the right combinations to get Milwaukee back on track after losing five straight.
The Bucks are back in action on Tuesday (AEST), taking on the Rockets in Milwaukee.