Milwaukee Bucks big man Thon Maker is in the midst of a playoff renaissance, something he has attributed in part to an Instagram video by Kevin Garnett.
“The biggest thing is having that attack mindset on both ends of the floor,” Maker said. “With him, he doesn’t care who you are in front of him if you’re playing against him. On the defensive end, [defending] your shot and protecting your teammates. The biggest thing when it comes to your teammates, him dealing with his teammates, was always touching a guy, telling him, ‘Stay up’ — keeping the guys positive.
“And then on the offensive end, just getting everybody involved, but also looking to attack because his man would be back. That’s what he was telling me: ‘If your man is back, shoot it. And tell them, How dare you back off?'”
Maker’s energy has sparked the Bucks in recent days and has been huge after John Henson had to sit out the past two games because of back soreness.
Carl Edwards Jr. worked the eighth and Brandon Morrow finished the six-hitter for his fifth save in five chances. With two outs and Ryan Braun on first, Travis Shaw flied out to the warning track in left.
“Just a really tightly, well-played baseball game,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
The Cubs had seven hits while playing without slugger Kris Bryant, who missed his third straight game after he was beaned during a victory at Colorado last weekend. Catcher Willson Contreras rested for most of the night before entering as a defensive replacement for the eighth.
Milwaukee got a two-out double in each of the first two innings but was unable to capitalize. Shaw flied out with Braun on second in the first, and Jett Bandy took a called third strike after Orlando Arcia’s hit in the second.
Anderson allowed five hits and walked one in seven innings. He had won each of his prior two starts.
“He threw a great game and I just tried to match that,” Anderson said. “And, you know, one pitch to Schwarber, I feel like if it’s up two, three inches he either pops it up or doesn’t hit it. I kind of put it where he likes it. Just one mistake.”