Thon Maker drawing inspiration from mentor Kevin Garnett
Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker, who only had a few seconds of combined playing time the first two games of the series against the Boston Celtics, really turned it around in Games 3 and 4 to help the Bucks tie the series at 2-2 heading into tonight’s pivotal Game 5.
Over the last two games at BMO Harris Bradley Center, Maker has scored 22 points, blocked a whopping 10 shots, and has drilled five three-pointers. He attributes his recent playoff success to a video he saw posted to retired star power forward Kevin Garnett’s TNT “Area 21” show’s Instagram page.
“He posted it on his Instagram, and somebody showed it to me,” Maker said on Tuesday of Garnett’s video. “And then I watched it and I sent it back to him and told him how motivational it was and said I liked it. So then we started talking.”
Garnett and Maker have been working together to improve the 21-year-old center’s game over the past two seasons. What has Maker learned from Garnett that is so important? According to an article written by Nick Friedell of ESPN, Maker opened up about what Garnett has taught him in order to be more successful on a basketball court.
“The biggest thing is having that attack mindset on both ends of the floor,” Maker said. “With him, he doesn’t care who you are in front of him if you’re playing against him. On the defensive end, [defending] your shot and protecting your teammates. The biggest thing when it comes to your teammates, him dealing with his teammates, was always touching a guy, telling him, ‘Stay up’ — keeping the guys positive. And then on the offensive end, just getting everybody involved, but also looking to attack because his man would be back. That’s what he was telling me: ‘If your man is back, shoot it. And tell them, How dare you back off?’”
When it comes to Maker’s recent rise in confidence, it has definitely shown by him trying to pump up the Milwaukee crowd with his joyful celebrations. He will look to continue his high level of contribution tonight during Game 5 against the Celtics at TD Garden.