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John Henson to start at center for Bucks?

Aug 27, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT

Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

At the 2012 NBA draft combine, John Henson weighed just 216 pounds. For reference, the 6-foot-4 Dwyane Wade is listed at 220 pounds.

Obviously, there were plenty of questions whether the 6-foot-11 Henson had the bulk to play inside in the NBA.

Henson’s game dictated he should, at least. His shot-blocking at North Carolina was exceptional, and he wasn’t much of a ball-handler. But at least a few people thought he couldn’t hack it as a professional power forward.

Turns out, Henson might be ready to move in deeper into the paint.

Gery Woelfel of The (Racine) Journal Times:

The positional revolution is already upon us, and Bucks coach Jason Kidd is taking it to the next level.

Coaching the Nets last season, Kidd went small following Brook Lopez’s injury. The results were positive, perhaps giving Kidd his niche – a coach who’s unafraid to tinker with weird lineups.

He already plans to play Giannis Antetokounmpo at point guard – not point forward – and Henson at center is another funky twist. The Bucks might not be good, but it should be fun to watch Kidd experiment with mismatches.

As fun as Milwaukee’s lineups could be, there is a downside to this news. If Henson starts at center, Larry Sanders, who finished serving his suspension last season, wouldn’t. Not long ago, Sanders was one of the game’s more electric big men, but attitude issues have derailed his career.

So, maybe Kidd plans to start Henson at center out of necessity. But that was also Kidd’s reason for altering Brooklyn’s lineup, and that turned out pretty well.

  1. fishkzor - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    I like Henson, and he makes much more sense going forward as a more affordable option at center for the rebuilding Bucks.

    If I’m Phoenix, I’m buying low on Larry Sanders right now. Sure, he has a large contract, but I think his value is at an all-time low, and having an athletic, defensive-minded center is paramount when trying to build a contender.

    The Bucks would be amazing, on paper, if they could talk Phoenix into signing and trading Bledsoe for Sanders. A mutually beneficial move, and one that could fast-track both teams’ rebuilding purposes.

    • fishkzor - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:38 PM


    • muhangis - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:43 AM

      But they got Brandon Knight at point, and he was the Buck’s best player last year. Knight may very well have been the Most Improved Player in the entire NBA last season

  2. eventhorizon04 - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    I like the idea for 2 reasons.
    First, Henson at center could allow Kidd to get more shooting on the court in small lineups. The Nets had a funky lineup in which their front court was “small” (Pierce at PF) but their backcourt was large (Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston, and Joe Johnson are all big by guard standards), and it allowed for a lot of switching on defense. You can maybe see the Bucks trying to do something similar, with an undersized front court but a large back court.

    Second, Sanders should have to re-earn the starting center spot given his actions rather than win it by default.

  3. money2long - Aug 27, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Go bucks

  4. 88heatnation - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    This Bucks team will raise a lot of eyebrows this upcoming season, a lot of players would try to prove themselves in contract years on a very young squad filled with potential. Knight had a breakthrough season last year at 18ppg then add another year to a much improved Giannas, Henson not to forget the potential ROY candidate in Parker the Bucks might make the playoffs sooner then we think.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 27, 2014 at 10:15 PM


      I’ve been saying that for a while now.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      In the weak East, it is absolutely within reason that the Bucks could make the playoffs this year. I don’t think they do, but they have a pretty talented young squad and are most definitely on the upswing.

  5. montrealknowledge - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Kidd as coach is the biggest experiment. Small line up create problems and are successful on offence, but on defence they will get dominated everytime. Sure you can double the post, but that leaves shooters open. Easier to help protect the rim when a big gets beat off the dribble, than to help down in the paint.

  6. 00maltliquor - Aug 27, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Why the h ell can the Bucks just start Henson and Sanders together for Christ sakes!!??
    It’s driving me nuts!!!

    BTW, today’s game the bigs don’t post up. Ever! It doesn’t matter so much what he weighs, most bigs play away from the basket and/or are already undersized as it is. His wieght should not be a problem.

    And lastly, using a 6″4 220 lbs. D Wade as an example is bee es (censors are ridiculous around here). He’s not the norm, he’s one of the heaviest 2 guards in the game.

  7. cruzan80 - Aug 28, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    New ownership, their trying to get rid of all those long contracts for players who seem to desperately need a change of scenery.

    Their gonna trade Sanders & Ilyasova probably by the trade deadline. They’ve been shopping them both all summer.

    Starting 5 is probably gonna look like this:

    C Henson
    PF Middleton
    SF Parker
    SG Antetoounmpo
    PG Knight

  8. mvp43 - Aug 28, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    The Bucks do have a roster with an aweful lot of potential. Its all about matchups in the NBA, so I see what Kidd is trying to do with Henson at 5 and Giannis at the 1/2. We’ll see how long that lasts though. The bottom line is who is going to score other than Parker?

    • bougin89 - Aug 28, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      Knight, Giannis and Henson will provide offense. This isn’t an elite offense by any stretch of the imagination but on paper if they tap their potential they could be a really good team on both sides of the ball.

      I still think they are a year and another lottery pick that can contribute away from being taken seriously.

      • theblackrook - Aug 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        Uh Jabari Parker?

      • theblackrook - Aug 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        Uh Jabari Parker?

      • bougin89 - Aug 28, 2014 at 5:12 PM

        Yes, read above, Jabari was listed in the first comment. It was a question about who other than Jabari will provide offense…I was providing an answer to that question.

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