The Milwaukee Bucks inked defensive big man, Larry Sanders, to a four-year, $44 million contract extension over the Summer, and the lengthy, defensive anchor looked poised to make good on the $10+ million per season deal that he earned with his stellar inside play just one season ago.
After just three games of the new season, Sanders is already frustrated with the decline in minutes he’s received. Sanders has averaged just 17.3 minutes per game this season, which is down from the 27.3 he averaged last season. Larry is particularly upset with his decreased role late in games.
“I feel like I’m capable of being in the game at the end and helping my team win, coming up with blocks and rebounds,” Sanders told NBA.com. “I haven’t been able to get my rhythm out there. I understand foul trouble situations, but tonight I wasn’t in foul trouble.
“Last year I finished so many games. I feel like that’s when I lock in the most. But I haven’t been able to get in the game to finish. That carries over to the next game. When you sit the last three quarters of each game, I can’t have no carryover. And it’s hard for me. I’m still a young player. It’s only my eighth year playing basketball.”
Sanders is currently averaging 2.7 point, 3.7 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game this season, which is FAR less than what most people had expected after number like 12.9 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game just a season ago. Some would say that new head coach, Larry Drew, is to blame, but then again, who knows the actual reasons. Sanders simply hasn’t looked good out on the court, which is likely the real reason for the decline in minutes.