Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton in strong position for All-NBA Team

With awards voting taking place in recent days, Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton is in with an excellent chance of making his first All-NBA team.

It’s long been a foregone conclusion that the Milwaukee Bucks would have a player on the All-NBA Teams, but the truth is that it’s increasingly likely their prolific 2019-20 regular season will be recognized in the history books with two players earning that honor.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to make an All-NBA Team for the fourth year in a row, and almost certainly a second consecutive appearance on the All-NBA First Team. But just as Giannis has been joined by him on All-Star teams the past two seasons, it looks increasingly likely that Khris Middleton could make the cut for All-NBA this year too.

Middleton has had an objectively brilliant season, hitting career-high marks while contributing to a truly elite team. In that regard, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that this is the level of recognition he may well have earned, but the reality is that there are only 15 spots for All-NBA every year, and outside of MVP, it represents the peak in terms of individual honors in the league.

Averaging 21.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists, while shooting 49.9 percent from the field, 41.8 percent from deep, and 90.8 percent from the free throw line, Middleton’s production has soared while his minutes totals have simultaneously continued to decrease under Mike Budenholzer’s guidance.

That increase in efficiency and productivity has also coincided with a fine-tuning of his skills, making Middleton a much more competent ball-handler, precise passer, and commanding rebounder.

When the Bucks’ regular season resumes against the Boston Celtics on Friday, there’ll be plenty of attention on Middleton’s 50-40-90 bid, particularly as he could join only Larry Bird, Dirk Nowitzki, and Stephen Curry in registering that level of efficiency while also averaging over 20 points per game.

Regardless of how that ultimately pans out, though, voters will decide on whether Middleton is deserving of All-NBA based on what he’s already achieved up until this point, and that certainly makes for a strong case.

Certainly working to Middleton’s advantage is the positional flexibility that the NBA has provided for voters who are determined to find a spot for him across their three All-NBA Teams.

Along with other notable players such as Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Luka Doncic, Jimmy Butler, Jayson Tatum, and Ben Simmons, Middleton is eligible on the ballot at both the guard and forward spots.

In other words, the chances of Middleton being squeezed out by voters who are having a tough time deliberating may well end up being significantly reduced in many cases.

As prominent media personnel have started to reveal their own picks in recent days, the reality is that Middleton’s prospects of making All-NBA hardly seem in doubt, though.

To name but a few, Zach Lowe of ESPN, Sam Amick of The Athletic ($), and Kevin O’Connor and Dan Devine of The Ringer all slotted Middleton in for their All-NBA Third Team.

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By all accounts, it seems like that’s exactly where Middleton may find himself when the ballots are totaled and the results are released, and what a way to top off an incredible individual season that will be for the Charleston native.

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