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NBA Milwaukee Bucks

Larry Sanders Has Star Potential for Milwaukee Bucks

Larry Sanders Bucks

Jerome Miron – USA Today Sports Images

Last season Larry Sanders felt like more a sideshow attraction for the Milwaukee Bucks than an actual basketball player in the NBA. His role last year was essentially to just come off of the bench, block a few shots, and get the crowd into the game. Honestly Sanders didn’t have much impact on the game for Milwaukee. That’s no longer the case.

Now Sanders is consistently playing big minutes for the Bucks and has started 48 games for them this season. In the 27.2 minutes per game that he’s playing this season, he has averaged 9.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and three blocks per game. He’s also shot 50.9 percent from the field. For a big man that was basically just raw athleticism when he came into the league, that’s terrific production.

As the year has progressed, Sanders has actually gotten noticeably better, too, particularly in regards to his offensive capabilities. Sanders has played in 14 games for Milwaukee in the month of March. In those games he has played 31.5 minutes per game and has averaged 12.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game on 49 percent shooting. He has shown that he has the ability to score around the rim to go with his tremendous defensive skills.

At just 23 years old, Sanders has shown that he has unbelievable potential as a big man in the NBA. He has to continue to develop his skills on offense and has to build on his defensive skills as well. Another thing he has to do is work on controlling his attitude a bit, considering that he has 13 technical fouls and five ejections this season.

However, Sanders doesn’t need to lose his attitude completely. He’s not like DeMarcus Cousins where his attitude hampers his effectiveness as a player. Sanders’ attitude is part of what makes him special. He plays with tremendous hustle, passion and fire when he’s on the floor, which is something that adds great value to the Bucks. He just needs to make sure that he doesn’t get tossed from games.

If Sanders continues to develop the way he has this season over the next couple of years, he could easily be one of the best two-way centers in the league. He’s already an elite defender and rebounder and his offensive game is coming along. Sanders has the potential to legitimately be a franchise-type player, which is pretty crazy for a guy that was barely seeing the floor last season.

Cody Williams is a Senior NBA Writer with Rant Sports. Follow Cody on Twitter @TheSizzle20 and like his Facebook page.