Why Khris Middleton is crucial for the Milwaukee Bucks’ success?

Photo: Fox Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks have a good chance to make it to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1974. The top-seeding team in the East has improved many aspects of its game, after an incredible 2018-2019 regular season campaign.

Giannis Antetokounmpo won the 2019 MVP award with Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon backing him up in primary and secondary ball-handling and scoring roles.

In the playoffs, the Bucks cruised past the first and the second round to face the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals.

There, Milwaukee couldn’t handle Toronto’s Box-and-1 zone and as a result, they lost the series in six games. In those six games, Khris Middleton, the “vice-star” of the Milwaukee team, had poor offensive stat lines, as he got to mark Kawhi Leonard on the other side of the court.

His production on offense dropped to 13.7 points per (18.3 in RS) shooting just 41.1% from the field (44% in RS), while his rebound and assists numbers had slightly folded during the six last games of the 2019 postseason.

One year and a couple of months later, the Milwaukee Bucks could be in a position to make the NBA Finals in Orlando, but they will need Middleton to perform on an All-Star level throughout the postseason to make it until the end.

Becoming a superstar when it matters

Khris Middleton is a 2-time NBA All-Star with incredible two-way capabilities that help the Texas A&M product to be impactful on both sides of the court.

In 60 games this season, Middleton is showing how he can become the second-best player offensively for the Bucks, when his defensive duties are diminished to less urgent matchups.

More specifically, he averages 21.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists shooting 49.9% from the field, 41.9 from the arc and 91.7% from the free-throw line.

Middleton is playing on another level during this season with Milwaukee being on +13.4, when the 2-time All-Star is taking the floor. He seems to be in more control of his offense, when playing with a 3-and-D wing like Wes Matthews besides him.

The Bucks’ All-Star had a 57.9% on EFG% and 62.2% on TS% during this season showing a well-rounded shot selection. On top of that, he has been shooting successfully from everywhere in the court on several types of shots.

Via NBA.com
Via NBA.com

With the Milwaukee Bucks being among the title favorites in Orlando. The top-seeded team in East is trying to find its groove being on 2-4, just two games away from the start of the postseason.

After the NBA season restart, with defense being shaky at best, the Bucks will need to rely on their offensive sets during the playoffs and Khris Middleton’s effective shot-making in the postseason will be pretty critical for the Bucks in order to become the 2019-20 NBA champions.

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