Aussies in NBA: Maker impresses coach, veterans in second career start
|Kyle Standfield||Jan 29, 2017|
A strong third quarter performance from Aussie Thon Maker has highlighted his second career start for Milwaukee in the team's 112-108 overtime loss to the Celtics on Sunday.
Maker finished the game with four points, two rebounds, a steal and a block, all of which was accumulated in a busy five minute stretch to open the second half.
"Thon gave us energy. I thought he changed the game in the second half," Bucks head coach Jason Kidd told The Pick and Roll after the game. "He set a screen on Thomas and those two started talking to each other."
On one particularly impressive play, Maker blocked fellow rookie Jaylen Brown before securing the rebound, sprinting down the floor and receiving the pass from Matthew Dellavedova for the slam.
Maker earned the start after a strong outing against the Raptors on Saturday, where he posted a career high 8 points in just 7 minutes of action.
"He showed everyone today that he is going to be a great player in this league," veteran teammate Jason Terry told Ben Mallis of The Pick and Roll after tonight's game. "I thought he did a heck of a job. His energy and his effort. He played as hard as he could. That’s the only thing you can ask from him. With a young guy like that, he was ready and he was prepared for his opportunity."
Terry went on to share his pride in the young Aussie.
"Since day one, this kid has come in and worked extremely hard. He’s been patient. He’s been supportive. He’s been a great teammate," Terry said.
The start marks Maker's second in the NBA, his first at the five spot; Maker replaced Jabari Parker at the small forward position last week.
When asked if Maker would remain in the starting line up moving forward, coach Kidd remained coy.
"I thought his energy and effort were great tonight and we’ll see how it goes when we go to Utah," Kidd explained.
Fellow countryman Matthew Dellavedova continues to feature in the Bucks' starting unit, and posted 14 points and 6 assists in the loss.
The Bucks now have three days off before having to travel to Utah to take on Joe Ingles, Dante Exum and the Jazz on Thursday (AEST).