Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Photo: Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports

The Bucks play the Suns tonight in Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Phoenix. The knee injury picked up by Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo in Game 4 against the Hawks means he’s unlikely to feature.

The Greek’s absence means the Bucks will need veteran Khris Middleton to step up – as he did in Games 5 and 6 against the Hawks. Including scoring 32 points when Milwaukee closed the series in Game 6, with 23 points coming in the third quarter.

Both Antetokounmpo and Middleton were part of the Bucks teams that suffered postseason defeats in the past two seasons. At the hands of the Raptors in 2019 and more recently the Heat. Therefore, Middleton will be more motivated than ever to bring home Milwaukee’s second NBA championship in their first NBA Finals since 1974.

If Middleton can hit form as he has at times in this postseason he might inspire the Bucks onto victory. With a chance of picking up the MVP award along the way.