Analyzing Matur Maker

April 8, 2018

by Alan Lu

Recently, I decided to take the time to scout Mississauga Prep’s 6-10 big man Matur Maker from Australia, as he played in a Canadian prep school game against GTA Prep on September 30th, 2017.  I was able to see this match with thanks to YouTube via Northpolehoops.

Matur Maker is an athletic big man that has solid physical tools, and he may have a considerable amount of upside, as he is a skilled player that can do a little bit of everything.  On the other hand, he will still need to polish up his overall skill set, as he may tend to try to force the issue that can lead him to make mistakes in games.

Maker did an adequate job of scoring on hustle plays.  He runs the floor very well, and on one play, he managed to throw down a magnetic jam on the break.  Plus, he also excelled at drawing fouls when taking it to the rim in transition, as he once even did so while bobbling a long outlet pass.  Also, he can score off of cuts and put backs.  But sometimes, Maker will tend to rush his shots as he may not always play under control or finish plays in traffic, which can lead to misses.  While he did not look to take many jumpers, he did show a pretty good ability to knock them down in this game.  Though Maker missed a contested, long two off the dribble early on, he did make a quick, pull-up three after bringing the ball up late in the contest to show his range.

Also, he showed off a decent ability to get scores on drives to the basket.  Maker is a good athlete that can handle the basketball, and he has an adequate first step to the hoop.  He managed to score once off of a quick baseline drive, as he possesses good quickness, balance, and shooting touch when he plays under control.  He also did a very good job of drawing fouls, though he struggled to make free throws in this game.  However, sometimes he would try to do too much, especially in traffic, and there was one occasion where he inexplicably tried a reverse layup despite having the left side of the hoop open to himself, as he ended up missing that time.

He also may have some low post scoring skills.  Maker is an agile big man that can finish plays above the rim.  On one play, he got the ball in the paint as he caught a sharp interior pass, and he promptly threw down a two-handed dunk to score the basket.  He also managed to draw free throws earlier when getting the ball in the post.  However, Maker also will need to add strength, as he may not always seal his man, in which he allowed a smaller opponent to intercept a pass in front of him once, and he also will need to expand upon his low post moves, as he can end up missing awkwardly around the basket.

Plus, he also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Maker is an unselfish player that can handle the basketball, as he can effortlessly bring the ball up the floor.  He also can throw good interior passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates, he also can routinely hit the cutter, and he also can throw outlet passes.  But sometimes, he also can be turnover prone as he may struggle to protect the basketball, especially when he looks to go coast to coast to try to score in transition.  On occasion, he may get the ball poked away from him, or he may lose the ball while handling it due to going too fast and out of control at times.  He also dropped a tipped outlet pass that went to an opponent, and he also threw an outlet pass that ended up getting intercepted.

Maker also did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He was especially active at crashing the glass on both ends of the floor, and he also would tip balls to himself and to his teammates to help his team come away with extra boards.  He has great size, combined with having solid length, athleticism, and instincts that allow him to come away with many boards.

He also played good defense in this game.  Maker did a very good job of blocking shots.  He can defend out on the perimeter and stay in front of his man on drives, and he also can quickly make his rotations, as he would routinely swat shots emphatically out of bounds due to possessing good length, footwork, and timing to do so.  He also excelled at collecting steals, as he would play passing lanes, and he also can poke balls away to force turnovers.  Plus, he also would use his length and footwork to double and trap opponents in the post to force passing turnovers.  In addition, he would successfully challenge opponents’ three-point shots to force misses, as he has a long wingspan to contest shots.

But sometimes he would gamble too much, as he tried to press a ball handler up the court, but he missed on a steal attempt, which caused his team to scramble, and a teammate to commit a foul on the break.  Another time, he roamed off his own man as he wandered in the middle of the floor to try to intercept a pass off of a drive, but he was late to get back to his man, as this led him to allow a three-point basket.

Also, sometimes he would have his hands down when defending passes, as this would lead entry passes to get through fairly easily.  Other times, Maker would not make proper rotations or timely contest shots, as opponents would get scores off the dribble around the basket.  In addition, there would be times where he would get beat off the dribble to allow scores.

In general, Matur Maker is a talented big man that has a wide range of skills, but he will still need to improve as an overall player.  He will need to play more under control on offense to be more efficient at making shots, and he will also need to improve his position defense.  I do think he still needs more seasoning as he will need to polish up his overall game, as he could use a year in college, in the G-League, or overseas to refine his skills.

Regardless, he is an athletic, skilled player that plays the game with a good motor, and if he decides to stay in the draft, he could end up being a worthwhile selection for an NBA team as a second round, draft and stash pick this year.

Other Notes:

Also in the game between Mississauga Prep and GTA Prep, there were a couple of interesting prospects that could end up being NBA players far into the future.  A couple of names to store away would be Mississauga Prep’s 6-11 big man, Makur Maker, and GTA Prep’s 6-7 forward, A.J. Lawson, who is said to be committed to Oregon after graduation.

Makur Maker is a talented, 6-11 combo forward that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he has a lot of similar skills to Matur Maker.  Makur Maker ran the floor to score on an emphatic two-handed dunk on the break, and he also drew an extra free throw.  He also can get scores on drives, and he also used a jab step to make an open three off the catch.  But while he looked to take many threes, he didn’t actually make many of them from beyond the arc against GTA Prep.  Also, he can tend to rush shots in traffic, which can lead to misses.

He also is quite adept at throwing long passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates, and he also handles the ball well for a player his size.   He also almost made an amazing play, as he crossed up an opponent and ran him before proceeding to throw down a ferocious, highlight reel worthy, two-handed dunk, but he was called for an offensive foul as he charged right into his opponent prior to doing so.

Maker also rebounded the ball well, and he also played adequate defense.  Maker blocked a long two-point shot, and he would frequently contest shots from all over the floor to force misses.  But sometimes, he would get beat off the dribble, and he also got outmuscled when defending in the post on another play, as he will need to add strength to be able to hold his ground on the block.

Overall, he is an intriguing prospect, as Makur Maker could be a first round prospect years into the future, especially if he can significantly improve his three-point shot.  He is a very athletic big man that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, he handles the ball well, and he has very good hands.  If he continues to polish up his overall game, he could end up excelling as a two-way player in the NBA down the road.

Another player that caught my eye was GTA Prep’s 6-7 forward, A.J. Lawson.  He is a very athletic, speedy swingman that can really get scores off the dribble, and he is a super quick wing player that defends very well.  He can get numerous scores on quick drives to the hoop, and after running in to poke the ball away to get a steal, Lawson drove the ball up the floor to throw down a thunderous dunk on the break while drawing an extra free throw.  Lawson accelerates very well, and he also has good body control to regularly finish plays around the basket.

However, he will need to improve his three-point shot.  While he made one open three quickly off the catch, he struggled to knock them down consistently from beyond the arc.  He also displayed adequate playmaking skills, as he can kick the ball out to shooters to set up scores, but sometimes he will play too fast, which can lead him to miss shots and turn the ball over.  Lawson will also look to crash the glass to help his team get boards on both ends of the floor.

Plus, he also played very good defense.  Lawson is very agile and has quick feet, and he often would run in to poke balls away from opposing ball handlers to get steals for his team.  In addition, he also managed to swiftly deflect a pass out of bounds on another possession.  In summary, A.J. Lawson played very well in that game, and he could be an intriguing prospect for teams to watch down the road.  He has a variety of skills that could prove to be useful to NBA teams, and he could potentially end up being a draft pick years into the future.

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