Reactions to latest Khris Middleton injury update for Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 06 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 06 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks have notably been without Khris Middleton and Joe Ingles for their first 19 games of the 2022-23 season. Middleton has been out recovering from wrist surgery he underwent in the offseason, while Ingles has been out recovering from a torn ACL he suffered playing for the Utah Jazz last season.

The Bucks got fantastic news on Middleton on Wednesday, as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Middleton is nearing his season debut and could potentially play as early as Friday against the Lakers.

Reactions to Khris Middleton’s return being days away for the Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks were already among the NBA’s best teams without Khris Middleton. It’s fun to imagine what they will be when he returns.

Middleton’s importance to the Bucks has been spotlighted numerous times over the last couple of seasons. Throughout the 2021 playoffs and many other times in his Bucks career, Middleton has come up with timely performances and clutch buckets. Without Middleton, the Bucks would’ve never become the championship team they were in 2021.

Milwaukee missed Middleton deeply during their 2022 playoff series against the Boston Celtics. Jrue Holiday was thrust into a role as the team’s second scoring option, a role more suited for Middleton. Holiday could not consistently contribute on offense while maintaining the brilliant level of defense he plays.

The area where Milwaukee missed Middleton the most during the series was in perimeter shooting. The Bucks shot 27.9 percent from three in the seven-game series, per Given how poorly Milwaukee shot in the series and how well Middleton has played against Boston in the postseason historically, having Middleton would’ve been huge and might have even changed the series’ outcome.

While not as bad as the 27.9 percent they shot in the Boston series, the team’s three-point percentage in the regular season has also gone down without Middleton so far this year. The Bucks are shooting 35.2 percent from deep as a team this season, down from the 36.6 percent they shot a year ago with Middleton in the lineup.

The Bucks have started the season 14-5 without Middleton and should only get better when he’s added to the lineup. Middleton is the team’s best shot creator, and his ability to create open looks for himself is something the team has missed in his absence.

With Middleton close to back for the Bucks, they now have their team from last season back together. The only player that hasn’t returned for the team this year is Joe Ingles, who they picked up on the opening day of free agency.

Middleton should have an easy time sliding back into the team’s lineup, considering they’re running it back with the same team plus Ingles this season. It’ll be exciting to see how Middleton’s return affects the team’s performance. They’ve already been great to start the season without him. Now it’s time to see what a Bucks team at full strength is capable of doing.

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Stay tuned for any more updates on Middleton and how the team performs with him back in the lineup soon.