Tuesday, February 3, 2009

To earn minutes, you really have to do the little things

IND forward Maceo Baston, who turns 33 in May, is an interesting player.

A second-round pick of the Bulls back in 1998, he spent his first few years as a pro in the CBA where he earned All-League and Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Baston's played in Italy, Spain, and Israel for six years, mixing in a 16-game appearance with the Raptors in 2003.

He's been in the NBA since 2006, appearing in 88 games over three seasons where he's earned his minutes by doing what many players don't want to do.

"You really have to do the little things," he said. "Scoring, obviously, is the most fun part of basketball, but I have to take that out my equation and get my minutes on defense. You just have to work your way into the system a little bit."

According to this article, "Baston's ability to help defend the player with the ball pick-and-roll plays is valuable."

"He knows the game better than younger people know it," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "He comes out past where the pick is and traps the ball. He's very athletic. We're not overly athletic and we need as many athletes on the court as possible. He just plays within himself and doesn't try to do things that he's not capable of doing. He's given us a nice boost."