Central Notes: Maker, Korver, Baynes, Parker

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report profiled Thon Maker of the Bucks; the team’s “Secret Unicorn.” Maker has been used sparingly in his rookie season – reaching double-digit minutes just four times – but has earned the respect of his colleagues in practice, earning the nickname “The Sheriff,” due to his vocal and attentive nature.

The reigning #10 overall NBA draft pick, Maker hadn’t been scouted as extensively as other players in the class of ’16. The Bucks selected Maker as a sign of confidence in their ability to nurture talent, Beck writes, opting for a “high-risk, high-ceiling” asset at No. 10.

“We look at the risk as being more minimal, only because we believe in the person,” Bucks GM John Hammond said regarding Maker.

Leading up to tonight’s match-up with the Lakers, coach Jason Kidd announced Maker would replace the injured Jabari Parker in Milwaukee’s starting five.

Other goings-on around the Central…

  • Kyle Korver has fit in nicely on the Cavaliers bench, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. Dubbed “The American Eagle” by teammates, Korver has averaged 10.4 points on 49.4% shooting from beyond the arc since being dealt to Cleveland. “Kyle is getting more and more comfortable with what we want to do offensively and defensively,” LeBron James said of his teammate. “The one by our bench that he caught that was thrown all the way over the top to our bench, and he just looked at the floor, and Glenn Robinson III was right in his face, and he still shot it? That’s just a sharpshooter right there.”
  • The Pistons bench has provided a lift on each end of the court, Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes. “Any time we start getting those stops, we get out in transition and that’s where we start looking good,” Aron Baynes said. “The coaches have been making a point that we need to get better all year. The last few games the starters have been taking that message and it’s fuel for the team.” The second unit’s excellent play is much-needed, as Detroit’s starting lineup have averaged 81.2PPG, 24th in the league.
  • Stephen Watson of WISN spoke with Bucks GM John Hammond, who noted “we feel comfortable with who we are,” following Parker‘s season-ending injury. While Hammond also mentioned “the trade deadline is approaching,” it appears the team does not have an immediate contingency plan to replace Parker in Kidd‘s rotation. Parker was having a career year prior to his ACL injury, averaging 20.1 points with 6.2 rebounds through 51 games. In the interim, Lakers coach Luke Walton said he expects Milwaukee to “rally around Parker’s situation,” according to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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