Bucks' Parker gets more minutes, kicks it into higher gear
Welcome to the 2017-18 edition of the Young Bucks Tracker. This year, we're taking a different tact. With Milwaukee now having a G League franchise, the Wisconsin Herd, each Thursday we'll either track the progress of the players who might be of help to the Bucks in the future or a current member of the Milwaukee roster. We'll also give updates on the other young players from the previous week.
This is the 13th edition of the 2017-18 Young Bucks Tracker.
SPOTLIGHT ON …
Forward Jabari Parker
The Milwaukee Bucks eased Parker back into competition following his nearly one year off after tearing his ACL.
In his first six games of the season, he topped 19 minutes just once -- playing 20:24 in a win over the Knicks on Feb. 6. He also sat out Feb. 10 in Orlando, the second of back-to-back games for Milwaukee.
Over those six games, Parker averaged 9.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and shot 46.3 percent from the field while making 2 of 8 3-point attempts. He also had a 56.7 true shooting percentage, 48.7 effective field-goal percentage, 14.1 defensive rebounding percentage and 9.5 total rebounding percentage.
Not bad while shaking off some rust.
The Bucks kicked it into a higher gear with Parker this past week, though.
Parker played in at least 20 minutes in three of Milwaukee's four games -- the exception being at Detroit, which partly could have been due to the lopsided score -- reaching 24:08 vs. New Orleans and 26:41 against Washington.
In those four games, Parker averaged 13.0 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and making 5 of 8 3-point attempts. He had a 60.1 TS%, 55.6 eFG%, 21.4 DRB% and 14.1 TRB%. While a small sample size, his true shooting percentage would put him in par with Giannis Antetokounmpo (60.0) and his defensive rebounding percentage with John Henson (22.5).
Another reason for Parker's lower minutes Wednesday against the Pistons (and he still played 18:12) could have been that he was playing in back-to-back games for the first time since last season.
All signs are pointing up for Parker as the Bucks make their stretch run, and he still has a couple of more gears to go.
-- Antetokounmpo had six blocked shots against the Wizards (as well as 23 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and three steals), which is one off his career high of seven set on Dec. 31, 2016 at Chicago. He also had six blocks vs. the Knicks on Jan. 6, 2017. The last Bucks player other than Giannis to have six blocks in a game was Henson, who had six against the Hawks on Jan. 15, 2016.
-- Sterling Brown played over 20 minutes in three of the Bucks' four games.
-- He's not under contract to the Bucks, but Brandon Jennings has been putting up big numbers since joining the Wisconsin Herd. In his first three games, Jennings is averaging 29.7 points, 7.0 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
-- Marshall Plumlee, on a two-way contract, has played in three games with the Herd since the NBA went on its All-Star break. He averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds in 30.7 minutes over those contests.