With the regular season now over, Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton fell just short of joining historic company in the 50-40-90 club.
After a nearly five-month hiatus, many wondered if Khris Middleton and the Milwaukee Bucks could pick up where they last left off in terms of success. Making history was nothing new for Milwaukee this season, and Middleton was looking to make some of his own by joining the illustrious 50-40-90 club with his stellar shooting splits.
At the time of the stoppage, Middleton was shooting 49.9 percent from the field, 41.8 percent from 3-point territory, and 90.8 percent from the free-throw line. With those splits along with his 21.1 points per game, Middleton was on the verge of joining historically elite company, that being players in the 50-40-90 club simultaneously averaging over 20 points per game. Only four players in NBA history have achieved that particular feat, those being Stephen Curry, Larry Bird, Dirk Nowitzki, and Kevin Durant, with Middleton not too far behind.
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Many expected Middleton would come out with some rust, given that he previously proclaimed that there was a period during the hiatus when he went two or three months without picking up a basketball. With eight seeding games in the resumed season for Middleton to get his field goal percentage up just a tick, it seemed like a very achievable task given how well he played this season. However, the restart had not gone as planned for the Milwaukee Bucks, and ultimately, Middleton fell just short in the process.
Playing in seven of Milwaukee’s final eight games, Middleton was hit or miss in the NBA’s restart. The 29-year-old averaged 19.7 points on 48.9 percent shooting from the field, a disappointing 34.0 percent from behind the arc, and 82.6 percent from the free-throw line.
Middleton’s numbers were inconsistent due to his varying playing time, sometimes playing in just the first half of games or finding himself playing in limited minutes. With the top seed in the league locked up four games in, it made sense to get Middleton some rest and experiment with other lineups, but it ultimately hurt his 50-40-90 case.
As the Bucks rounded out their abysmal 3-5 stretch, Middleton finished the season averaging 20.9 points per game on 49.7 percent field goal shooting, 41.5 percent 3-point shooting, and 91.6 percent from the charity stripe. Although he fell short in the end by just .03 percent, there is no doubt that Khris Middleton had a regular season to remember, pandemic aside.
With new career-highs in points, field goal percentage, free-throw percentage, and field goal makes, Middleton capped off a fantastic regular-season showing. Had the season played out in its entirety, the forward would undoubtedly have had a better shot to secure that historic 50-40-90 feat. Instead, the league only played 62 out of its typical 82 games this season.
That .03 percent difference might sting for a while, but with the regular season out of the way, the Milwaukee Bucks and Khris Middleton will now set their focus to the biggest prize of them all.
With their eyes on taking home the Larry O’Brien trophy, hopefully, No. 22 can regain his dynamic offensive touch as the Bucks kick off the postseason on Tuesday against the 8-seeded Orlando Magic.