Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker Will Be A Franchise Player
After a season-ending ACL injury in his rookie season, all hope seemed lost for the Duke phenom. Two years later, the Milwaukee Bucks have an elite forward in Jabari Parker
When he was picked second in the 2014 NBA Draft, it was no mystery Jabari Parker would become a unique talent in professional basketball.
His athleticism is unreal and he’s consistently improving. For the first time in his young career, Parker is living up to his comparisons to one of the NBA elites: Carmelo Anthony.
Parker is currently averaging 20.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game with a slash line of .486/.377/.737.
With performances like this one, Parker is making the case for Most Improved Player this season and is also showing basketball fans what it means to be patient. The ACL injury he suffered in his rookie season took a huge load of momentum out of an effective first season. In 2016-17, however, Parker is on pace to finish the season having played all 82 games, and his workload is set at 34.3 minutes per game.
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Critics have doubted his defense and three-point shooting, but he’s made adjustments in both of those aspects in order to complement the rest of the Bucks’ rotation. Parker’s growth is largely thanks to the prowess of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has had a phenomenal season as a point-forward. Coach Jason Kidd‘s fantastic basketball IQ has also been a huge complement to Parker’s success this year.
Until recently, Parker had started in every game of the season. As punishment, Kidd benched Parker against the Miami Heat on January 21. ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported that Parker was treated as such because he broke a team rule in a post-game media address.
“I spoke up for the first time, and it didn’t go my way,” Parker said to the media. “I was getting thrashed, but hey, as long as I give them another perspective, I did my job.”
Parker’s response to the media disclosed too many details for Kidd’s liking, ultimately stripping Parker from the starting lineup.
Though Parker sparked a bit of locker-room drama, that doesn’t mean the Bucks are going to be weary of the third-year forward. He’s having a career-year alongside Antetokounmpo, and the pair is likely going to bring their team to the playoffs in style.
The Milwaukee Bucks snagged a keeper in Parker, and he could very well be the face of the franchise in his later years.