Update on Khris Middleton’s injury status for the Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 17: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 17: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After leaving Game 2 with a knee injury, we have an update on the status of Khris Middleton and it appears the Milwaukee Bucks will be without their three-time All-Star for at least a few games.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Middleton has a sprained MCL (which head coach Mike Budenholzer said last night) and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. That means he’ll miss the remainder of the Bucks’ first round series against the Chicago Bulls and could miss time in the second round if they advance.

 Implications of Khris Middleton’s injury for the Milwaukee Bucks

Obviously, this could have been worse and a sprained MCL is better than a potential tear, but this is still brutal news for a Bucks team that was struggling already and now will need multiple role players to step up in Middleton’s absence.

It’s also rough timing for Middleton as he was starting to look like himself in the third quarter of Game 2 after a disappointing start to the series. Middleton scored 13 points on six shots (4-of-4 from 3) in the third and was leading a comeback effort with Giannis Antetokounmpo before dinging up his knee on a drive and eventually leaving the game.

As for the rest of the roster, there are a few candidates who will need to step up.

Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez have been about as good as we could hope, especially Lopez, so it would be unfair to ask much more from them. Same goes for Wesley Matthews offensively, but expect him to do more against DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine defensively.

Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis, Grayson Allen, and Pat Connaughton will all need to step up on offense, though.

Holiday has shown flashes of his struggles from last playoffs, averaging 15 points on 44.4 percent true shooting with 10 total turnovers. His defense has been solid, the passing has been ok, and he hasn’t been as secure with the ball, which is what made up for his inefficient shooting last year.

He is the primary candidate for someone that will need to be better and become the second star after arguably the best overall regular season of his career.

The three guys off the bench (although we should expect to see Connaughton start in Middleton’s place) have shot a combined 4-of-22 from 3 in the first two games of this series. It’s a bit unfair to Portis who played less than six minutes after a eye injury, but he’ll be back for Game 3 and they’ll need his energy and scoring more than ever.

Portis shot 15-of-25 on 2s against the Bulls this season and will need to take advantage of Chicago’s lack of interior defense even more with Middleton out. The 3-point shooting has been hit-or-miss with him since the break, but he’ll have the green light.

Speaking of a green light, we need to buy a massive traffic light to show Allen how green his light is. He’s taken just six shots in 40 minutes through two games and that just can’t cut it now. Hopefully he’ll have some plays run for him to get open looks but he also needs to be aggressive attacking when they run him off the 3-point line and go at the basket.

It will take a team effort from the role players to replace Middleton’s scoring and playmaking, but the Bucks should still be considered heavy favorites even without their three-time All-Star. If they could close a series out without Antetokounmpo, they can close one out without Middleton.

Next. Grades from the Milwaukee Bucks’ Game 2 loss to Chicago Bulls. dark

The Milwaukee Bucks will get their first chance to win without Middleton tomorrow night at the United Center.