Milwaukee Bucks: The key to Khris Middleton’s 3-point shooting surge

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 08: (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 08: (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Khris Middleton’s shooting resurgence has stood out for the Milwaukee Bucks this season and it’s been his off-ball 3-point shooting that’s been integral to their success.

Khris Middleton has long displayed his importance to the Milwaukee Bucks for several seasons now.

In recent seasons, the former Aggie has developed into an All-Star and gained plenty of shine with his well-rounded play to form a dynamic trio, along with superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and All-Defensive-caliber guard Eric Bledsoe. Before the 2019-20 season, Middleton reached a level of productivity and efficiency that he hadn’t previously shown before.

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Of course, averaging 21.1 points per game and flirting with an entry into the 50-40-90 club as he did for most of the season certainly points to that, along with 6.2 rebounds per game and 4.1 assists per game.

And as of right now, Middleton’s 61.9 true shooting percentage rates as the second-highest mark in Bucks history behind Antetokounmpo’s 64.4 true shooting percentage set during his MVP-campaign last season.

Certainly, the essential aspect behind Middleton’s career year to this point was his 3-point shooting resurgence where his 41.8 3-point percentage was on target to be his personal best mark for a full season throughout his eight-year career.

Middleton’s long range shooting prowess has especially grown in its diversity since the arrival of head coach Mike Budenholzer and his staff, as he’s been able to develop his pull-up game from beyond the arc over the last couple of years. But through the 28-year-old’s tried-and-true way of making opposing defenses pay, Middleton has regained his potency as one of the best shooters in the league on catch-and-shoot situations from that level of the floor.

The 46.5 percent Middleton has shot on catch-and-shoot 3-point attempts this season is the best mark he’s posted in this department since his shortened 2016-17 run (47.1 percent), per And it comes after he went 35.1 percent on such situations last season, which marked a nadir of sorts.

From a league-wide perspective, Middleton has the fifth-highest figure for catch-and-shoot 3-point percentage and he stands behind fellow All-Star Trae Young, J.J. Redick, CJ McCollum and Seth Curry. Certainly not bad company to be a part of.

Considering one of the core tenets in the Bucks’ offense is generating plenty of catch-and-shoot threes, Middleton’s sparkling efficiency on such shots has been critical in the team being able to adequately spacing the floor.

Milwaukee ranked sixth this season in averaging 25.7 catch-and-shoot 3-pointers per game, but stood 21st in the league with the 36.5 percent they collectively hit on those types of attempts. Only George Hill has tallied a higher percentage than Middleton on catch-and-shoot triples of Bucks players this season.

Raising their collective efficiency on 3-point shots is the last remaining hurdle for the Bucks to tackle in their personal 3-point revolution since the dawn of the Mike Budenholzer era.

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As far as Middleton is concerned, though, the Bucks don’t have to worry about his 3-point proficiency, should the season eventually pick back up, and hopefully he continues delivering the same level of efficiency moving forward.