Milwaukee Bucks fan vote: Jrue Holiday will lead the team in assists

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05: (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 05: (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Atlanta Hawks: Bogdan Bogdanovic
Mar 9, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports /

Milwaukee Bucks fan vote: Could Khris Middleton or the dark horse, Joe Ingles, lead the Bucks in assists next season?

Looking back at the 2021-22 Milwaukee Bucks, Khris Middleton finished third on the team in assists behind Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo by just 0.4 assists per game. While Middleton would have some work to do to catch up to Jrue Holiday, there is a conceivable strategy that could be employed to see Middleton lead the team in assists per game.

Khris Middleton is known as a scorer and more of a shoot first than pass first player, however Middleton has averaged over five assists every season since the 2017-18 season. Khris Middleton does have the ball in his hands often, last season 25.1 percent of the time Khris Middleton had the ball, the Milwaukee Bucks used him as the pick and roll ball handler, and while Middleton doesn’t get credit for being as good of a passer as he is, the Bucks did score over 40 percent of the time on such plays, the Bucks averaged 0.92 points per possession on plays where Khris Middleton was the ball handler in the pick and roll, putting him in the 71st percentile for plays of that type. Not bad for a guy who’s primary job is to score.

So while it isn’t particularly likely that Middleton leads the Bucks in assists, it is possible. Similarly, it isn’t likely that Joe Ingles leads the Bucks in assists, surpassing the other three mentioned players, it does bear repeating that Joe Ingles is a very underrated passer and playmaker, Joe Ingles has even better numbers as the ball handler in the pick and roll than Khris Middleton.

Joe Ingles was the ball handler on just over 26 percent of plays last season with the Utah Jazz, although not a full season, the Jazz averaged 1.02 points per possession with Ingles running the pick and roll, similarly to Middleton, just over 40 percent of such plays ended in scoring, however the points per possession put Joe Ingles in the 86th percentile for plays of that type. Pair Joe Ingles with Giannis Antetokounmpo in the pick and roll, with shooters surrounding them, that may be a play that Mike Budenholzer calls often. Admittedly, even if that is the case, it is still rather unlikely it happens often enough for Ingles to overtake Jrue Holiday for the team lead in assists.

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