Maker Makes A Strong First Impression

LAS VEGAS – Thon Maker’s summer league debut was a smashing success.

At least it was in the minds of the ones who count: Milwaukee Bucks officials.

The 7-foot-1 Maker, who was the 10th overall selection in the June NBA draft, played in five games and was impressive enough to be selected to the all-Vegas Summer League second team.

The lithe Maker averaged 14.2 points and raised some eyebrows with his consistent and strong rebounding, averaging 9.6 boards a game.

But it wasn’t the numbers that Maker put up during summer league competitionthat the Bucks were most concerned about, according to Sean Sweeney, who served as the Bucks head coach.

“I thought he did a great,’’ Sweeney said of Maker. “Our goal was daily improvement, not to skip any steps, try to improve each day and try to do the best he could every time he stepped on the floor and try to put together as many good plays as he could, as many good possessions as he could and I thought he did a great job in checking those boxes.’’

Sweeney and the Bucks brass also paid close attention to Maker’s effort and how he interacted with his teammates and coaches. Before the draft, several NBA scouts said that perhaps Maker’s biggest attribute might be his motor, that he consistently plays hard. That was indeed the case in Vegas. Maker seldom slacked off and was engaged on both ends of the floor.

Asked what he liked about Maker’s game, Sweeney immediately cited his effort and then added on a few other things.

“His energy and effort were really, really good,’’ Sweeney said. “I think he’s got a foundation and a potential skill set that could be kind of exciting.

“And his willingness to be coached and his willingness to conduct himself at a high level in practice and with his teammates was very good, too. He communicates really well. He’s very positive with his teammates, trying to be as good of a team player as he can be.

“He’s done a great job so far and, hopefully, he’ll keep it up.’’