Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton puts in strong performance in Team USA finale

BEIJING, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 14: (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 14: (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Milwaukee Bucks wing Khris Middleton produced a strong performance as Team USA closed out their World Cup with a win over Poland.

It was far from the FIBA World Cup that the American squad had hoped for, but at the very least Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton can feel content with his own individual performance over the tournament’s final few games.

Middleton was one of Team USA’s most reliable offensive options in Thursday’s classification loss to Serbia, finishing with 16 points on a steady 6-of-11 from the field. And as Gregg Popovich’s team finished off their campaign with an 87-74 win against Poland on Saturday, Middleton picked up right where he left off.

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Although Donovan Mitchell ultimately finished as Team USA’s high scorer with 16 points, it was Middleton who held that title for most of the contest as he kept the scoreboard moving in the right direction for the USA with a steady variety of midrange touch shots making up the bulk of his points.

In total, Middleton finished with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 1-of-2 from deep, but his contributions extended beyond scoring as the 28-year-old generally controlled the play for the US across the floor in his his time on the court.

In 23 minutes, Middleton also corralled six rebounds and dished out six assists, which unsurprisingly combined to leave him as a game-high +6 in terms of plus/minus.

There was also a chance for Brook Lopez to join his Bucks teammate in action, although again opportunity was a little bit more limited for the floor-spacing center.

Lopez did get some brief respite from a difficult individual World Cup on an individual level as he knocked down a first quarter triple, which he followed up with a knowing smile. But that joy was short-lived as Lopez finished with just those three points as he went 1-of-5 from the field in his 10 minutes of action.

While France and Australia will meet in the third/fourth place playoff and Argentina and Spain will go head to head in the FIBA World Cup final on Sunday, with Team USA’s time in China officially coming to an end, the same can be said for the Bucks’ involvement in the tournament.

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Fortunes have been mixed at best for Milwaukee’s players at the World Cup, but Bucks fans will hope that the extra run will at least help the players involved to come back in game shape ahead of the new NBA season.