3 Bucks who need to rise to the occasion in do or die Game 5 vs. Heat
The Milwaukee Bucks find themselves in a position that no team ever wants to be in as they trail the Miami Heat 3-1 in their first round series.
While climbing the 3-1 mountain often seems insurmountable for teams in this predicament, it is certainly possible and has happened. The Bucks are more than capable of doing it, but it will be far easier said than done. Following a gutting collapse in Game 4, several Bucks players truly need to do some soul-searching. It’s do-or-die time for this team, and it will be fascinating to see what the Bucks put together in Game 5 and hopefully beyond. With that said, here are three Bucks who are on the clock in Wednesday’s Game 5.
1 – Khris Middleton
Khris Middleton’s production has varied widely in this series. In Game 4, he could not get into his groove whatsoever, having tallied 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting while notching three turnovers before fouling out. Turnovers have been a big story for Middleton in this series, as he’s averaged 3.5 per game. Middleton’s handle on the ball has been non-existent, and several of his passes in this series have been outright awful. Also, he’s never been a stellar defender, but it’s been hard to watch him on that end in this series. He’s under the spotlight in Game 5, without question.
The Bucks need the best version of Middleton possible. They need the guy who scored 40 points in Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Finals or scored 38 points in Game 3 versus the Atlanta Hawks in the series prior. Less than 15 points while struggling to handle the ball and play defense is not going to get the job done. Though he’s always battled with inconsistent play in the postseason, he has also shown that he can step up in the biggest moments, and there will be no bigger moment for the Bucks thus far this season than Game 5 against the Heat.
With all of the talk about Middleton’s future in Milwaukee lingering in the background this season, this game could be a pivotal factor in that.