By: Bill Tewes
Game two of Bucks NBA Summer League action is in the books with Thon Maker and Rashad Vaughn turning in quality performances this afternoon against the D-League Select team. The Bucks unfortunately fell to the Select Team 91-86 after a strong 4th quarter run.
Thon Maker impresses again
Thon Maker was sluggish out of the gate offensively, but heated up midway through the second quarter and throughout the rest of the game. After missing two three pointers and turning an easy layup into a near miss, Maker threw down a powerful dunk on an assist from Rashad Vaughn and finished up the first half 4/8 and grabbed eight rebounds, two of which were offensive boards. Late in the 4th quarter, Maker hit his first three pointer of
the game finishing the game 1 of 4 from behind the arc. With his second double-double on a 17 point, 17 rebound performance, Maker also notched two impressive blocks en route to stuffing the stat sheets. I think the most impressive part of his game today was his four offensive rebounds, never giving up on any of those plays.
Maker looked smooth on defense as he was constantly pressuring shooters as well as shaking the will of his opponents with the aforementioned two blocks. Under nine minutes to go in the 4th quarter he had a nice shot block on Jaron Johnson timing the rejection perfectly. Maker had another block toward the end of the game that had the few people in attendance on their feet. Maker did however make a critical error late in the game as the D-League Select team began to pull away, allowing an and one on a bad block attempt.
The huge upside of Maker’s game is predicated largely on his freak athleticism. At one-point Maker nearly turned the ball over out of bounds but chased it down, flipping it back to Rashad Vaughn. It seems that Maker was everywhere on the court this afternoon. He showed some serious hustle on a loose ball, going to the ground to fight for it. On a rebound under the eighth minute of the 3rd quarter, Maker took the ball nearly coast to coast, drawing a foul. He continues to show incredible speed for someone who is 7’ 1”. Maker’s energy and dedication in both of these games has given me a little more justification for why Milwaukee took him at 10th overall.
Rashad Vaughn lights out with a 10 of 18 shooting effort
After a less than stellar game against Cleveland’s Summer League team, Rashad Vaughn showed real poise shooting the ball from all over the court. Vaughn played 31 minutes, dropping 24 points on 10 of 18 shooting. Vaughn had four assists and was constantly opening up the floor for his teammates. Two of those four assists were on Thon Maker’s dunks.
Vaughn looked comfortable from three-point land. He made 3/6 from three, sinking a buzzer beater three at half time. Vaughn exuded confidence in slashing through the lane on some nice layups as well. Vaughn’s play last game was a little concerning as there is big expectations for the second year player, but today’s game will hopefully be a building block for future success.
While we must temper our expectations with these games being Summer League contests, it is important for these guys to get some extra on court action, especially with Milwaukee still trying to get a D-League affiliate in Wisconsin. There is progress being made, but it would be unfortunate blow to the development of our young players, especially Thon Maker, if Milwaukee cannot get their D-League team. According to Satchel Price of SBnation.com, NBA teams without a D-League affiliate are “forced to send their player to one of the 19 teams and then have no control over the developmental process of said player [sic]”. This is an obvious problem for the Bucks and would force them to play Maker a lot of minutes against NBA teams even if he is not ready.
The Bucks final Summer League game is tomorrow afternoon against the Memphis Grizzlies. Will Thon Maker get his third double-double? Our Summer League’s Big 3 (Maker, Vaughn, Brogdon) look to take 2 out of 3 in Las Vegas.