The Milwaukee Bucks won’t be having another All-Star accompanying superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo next month.
As first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania ahead of this year’s reserves being announced on Inside the NBA on TNT, Bucks forward Khris Middleton fell short of earning his third straight All-Star appearance.
Over his 31 appearances on the season, Middleton averaging 20.5 points on a career-high 50.5 percent shooting from the field and 43.1 percent shooting from three, along with 6 rebounds and 5.7 assists across 33.2 minutes per game.
Middleton has made each of the last two All-Star Games as a reserve, which is voted on by the Eastern Conference coaches.
This year’s reserves from the East are Jaylen Brown, James Harden, Zach LaVine, Julius Randle, Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum and Nikola Vucevic.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton had a worthy case to be an All-Star this season.
In many ways, Middleton’s case to become an All-Star for the third time in his career was never better than this season.
There’s the increased efficiency to look towards Middleton’s case while averaging just a hair over 20 points per game. The same goes for his playmaking where he’s averaging a career-high 5.7 assists and 24.8 assist percentage, all while bringing down 6 boards per game.
The unfortunate timing of Jrue Holiday’s absence, though, certainly Middleton’s case as it got closer to coaches voting for this year’s reserves. Middleton’s play has largely suffered without Holiday in the mix and he only bounced back Sunday night in the Bucks’ win over the Sacramento Kings by hitting a season-high 32 points.
Couple that with the fact that the Bucks haven’t played up to the same lofty standards they’ve set for themselves over the last two seasons certainly played into their potential reasoning. This 2020-21 season is unique for a whole variety of reasons and the Eastern Conference All-Star selections certainly reflects the parity that current exists in the standings at the moment.
Whatever the reason may be, it all served to damage Middleton’s case for making his third straight All-Star appearance down in Atlanta when the All-Star Game is held on March 7 at State Farm Arena.
In any case, there is still a chance for Middleton to make a run at an All-NBA team this season and to return back to the All-Star squad next season. Nothing like a little more motivation for Middleton as he focuses on the rest of this Bucks season.