Milwaukee Bucks: Analyzing the ‘inconsistent’ label for Khris Middleton

Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, Phoenix Suns: Jae Crowder
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 11 (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The academic debate of nature-versus-nurture is a far-reaching one that encompasses a multitude of disciplines. In modern NBA basketball, the popular conversation surrounding Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton’s on-court ability is an excellent case study of the discourse going wildly awry by leaning too much to one side in this respect.

According to the mainstream media, the Bucks’ number two swingman is an inconsistent role player not capable of buoying a championship offense as its tertiary scorer. Whether the (generally valid) criticism harps on his ability to score in the paint or his supposed inconsistencies, the bottom line seems to be that he is just not good enough.

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Naturally, it all should have been proven wrong and whisked away when Middleton dropped 40 points in a Finals game. If that doesn’t work, then it should have been when he swished the game-winning bucket in the championship-winning game nights later.

The Bucks’ playoff run in its totality was chock full of Middleton highlights and clutch moments, and one need not look far to find him buoying the Bucks with his equilibratory composure.

Khris Middleton clocked in several memorable performances throughout the Milwaukee Bucks’ title run

Regardless of which performance you pick out, the corollary from this season’s result should be this: Middleton is a very good basketball player.

Yet even in the wake of the franchise’s first world title in 50 years, the narrative persists. It’s not invalid, either; Middleton is as much the reason the Milwaukee Bucks win basketball games as he is the reason they lose them. Where should the discussion stand today? Here’s a quick dive into how the narrative can (and should) evolve heading into the 2020-21 season.