3 things to watch in Milwaukee Bucks Finals rematch vs Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 17: (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 17: (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton. Phoenix Suns: Mikal Bridges
Jul 14, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

How will Khris Middleton fare against Mikal Bridges and Jae Crowder?

This is my second favorite matchup because, well, it involves two of my favorite players to watch in all of basketball. I don’t need to explain why I love Khris Middleton, you all know why he’s great. Mikal Bridges is such a fun defensive player to watch, though. Crowder is great too and was very successful against Middleton last year.

Middleton took a combined 57 shots against Bridges and Crowder in the Finals last season and shot 36.8 percent, per NBA.com/stats. That’s not all that great. He did shoot 35 percent on 20 3-point attempts against those two, which still isn’t good but it’s not bad.

Overall, Middleton scored 50 points on 43.5 percent true shooting when he was defended by Bridges and Crowder. It makes sense though.

We’ve seen that Middleton struggles against longer defenders like Bridges (see any of his games against the Toronto Raptors) and Crowder is really strong, which makes it hard for Middleton to get to his spots for pull-up jumpers.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Bridges and Crowder’s job on Middleton defensively was that they only committed one shooting foul! Sure, part of that is the idea that referees let more physical defense go in the playoffs and especially the Finals, but it’s still very impressive that they only committed one foul against him.

Middleton was also held to 6-of-16 shooting in the regular season against these two, so it could be another long night at the office for the three-time All-Star.