How Khris Middleton’s Building On His Breakout Season With The Milwaukee Bucks

Dec 26, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton (22) during the game against the Toronto Raptors at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Toronto won 111-90. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 26, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton (22) during the game against the Toronto Raptors at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Toronto won 111-90. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Milwaukee Bucks have had their fair share of deadly shooters throughout the franchise’s history and we’re seeing a new player rising to those ranks in Khris Middleton.

We all know the story of Khris Middleton by now.

It wasn’t that long ago that he was considered as a trade throw in as part of the deal that sent Brandon Jennings to the Detroit Pistons, but in the two and a half years since then, Middleton has since grown to become a valuable “three & D” player for the Bucks.

All of that hard work paid off of course when Middleton re-signed with the team to a five-year, $70 million contract this past Summer, but after going through a bit of a rocky start once the season began, there were some worrying signs that Middleton may have a hard time living up to new expectations.

Those worries have quickly faded since then as Middleton has not only regained the form that he’s established over the last couple of seasons, he could be on the verge of something bigger based on the spectacular play that we saw from him this past week.

Whether that holds up or not remains to be seen, what’s becoming clear is that we’re seeing one of the greatest shooters in Bucks history before our eyes.

That may sound silly to some Bucks fans to already put Middleton in the company of some of the great dead-eye shooters throughout the team’s history like Ray Allen, Michael Redd or even a sixth man like Craig Hodges, but Middleton is earning that right.

He’s only in the middle of his third year in Milwaukee, but Middleton already ranks second (just behind Dell Curry) among the team’s leaders in career three-point percentage with a career shooting percentage of 42 percent from beyond the arc.

Furthermore, Middleton’s currently proving why he belongs to be mentioned in that same class of names as he’s suddenly shown that he’s capable of building on his breakout season from last year.

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At just 35 games into this season, Middleton’s currently leading the team in points per game as he’s averaging 16.2 points per game on around 12.8 field goal attempts per game, per

Those numbers may sound pedestrian to some people, but the area where Middleton has surprisingly improved on is his three-point shooting as Middleton’s well on his way of shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc for the third consecutive season by shooting a whopping 46 percent from deep.

Barring a collapse in his performance or anything else (knocks on wood), accomplishing this feat alone would put Middleton’s name in good company.

On the flip side, Middleton’s biggest weakness so far has been his struggles on shooting inside the arc as he’s just shooting 43 percent from the field so far this year, but he may have turned the corner in that area after a hot month of December where he shot 47 percent from the field.

Now his recent stretch of games brings up the questions of whether Middleton can maintain the role of being a volume scorer/first option similar to Allen or Redd and that will always persist until he proves otherwise.

This recent stretch of play from Middelton shows he’s clearly the team’s biggest weapon in the team’s arsenal right now and interim head coach Joe Prunty has been making sure that he’s using Middleton to the best of his abilities since taking over head coaching duties a couple of weeks ago.

For example, since Prunty took control of the team in the absence of coach Jason Kidd, the Bucks rank seventh in the league with an OffRtg 108.3 per 100 possessions (per

Of course, there’s bigger things at hand than just finding more ways to make Middleton a bigger emphasis in the team’s offensive scheme, but Middleton is a threat that teams have to respect and that could go a long way to addressing the team’s overall offensive flaws.

Again, whether this continues or not remains to be seen, but Middleton’s emergence to become a vital part of the team’s young, growing core over the last couple of years couldn’t have worked out better for a team that saw something in him not that long ago.