Milwaukee Bucks power forward John Henson had a quiet rookie season after he was selected 14th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft. However, Henson is determined to work hard this summer in preparation for a bigger role next season.
The 22-year-old averaged 6.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.7 blocks and 13.1 minutes per game. In 63 games (nine starts), he shot 48.2 percent from the field while attempting an average of 5.3 shots per contest.
In four games against the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBAplayoffs, Henson posted 1.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 8.3 minutes per game. The only game he saw any significant playing time was Game 1 in which he recorded six points and five rebounds in 20 minutes. It was the only contest out of the four that he scored any points.
The Bucks had high expectations coming into this season with no room to develop a young player in his first season. It is understandable why Henson did not get a lot of playing time, especially since Milwaukee had an abundance of big men. With that being said, it was exciting to watch when he did flash signs of greatness throughout the year.
The good news for Henson is that he ended the regular season on a high note. Bucks interim coach Jim Boylan decided to give the rookie some much needed playing time in the last five games of the season. Henson responded by averaging 15.0 points, 15.0 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 34.0 minutes per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field.
Of those five games, two performances stand out. The first occurred against the Orlando Magic on April 10 in which he scored 17 points and hauled in a career-high 25 rebounds and seven blocks. That was the first time fans in Milwaukee fully realized what Henson is capable of, and what he can accomplish if given the proper coaching. The other game Henson went off was against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the regular season finale. He put up 28 points and 16 rebounds in a career-high 44 minutes.
Henson knew that if he was given the right opportunity he could show the Bucks that he can do great things in the NBA.
“My family and friends said, ‘Stay ready, you’ll be fine.’ And that’s what I did,” Henson told JSOnline.com. “I think those performances like the one in Orlando is a testament to staying mentally in it and not getting down on myself.”
The North Carolina native stated that he plans on taking a little time off, but will be back in Milwaukee soon to start training for next season.
“I’ve just got to improve from year to year and that’s what I’m going to do,” Henson said, according to JSOnline.com. “I can’t wait for summer league, man. It’s an opportunity to play.”
As far as Henson’s rookie year is concerned, he got a passing grade for his performance this season. Even though he did not get much playing time, he still was able to prove that he can contribute on the court.