Friday night, Larry Sanders gets a reset on his season.
He didn’t like the way this season started. Over the summer he signed a new four-year, $44 million deal and management talked about him as a cornerstone defensive anchor for the team. Then new coach Larry Drew cut his minutes, going instead with Zaza Pachulia and veterans he trusted while waiting for Sanders to prove something to him.
Sanders has been out since early November but will return Friday night to the Bucks, the team announced Thursday.
John Henson and Sanders are potentially the front line of the future in Milwaukee but they are only going to find out if they play them together and big minutes.
Henson has looked good lately, averaging 17 points a game on 51 percent shooting plus 10.8 rebounds a game in his last five. With Pachulia out (foot) Sanders should get big minutes as soon as he plays himself back into shape.
Maybe at the start of the season Drew was on board with the whole “we’re not tanking, we want to get back in the playoffs” thing in Milwaukee, but at this point they are headed for the lottery — the high lottery — and need to embrace it.
Play Sanders and Henson big minutes together, let them grow and see what you really have there.