Number 1: How good does Khris Middleton look?
One of the bigger questions surrounding this Bucks team is which version of Khris Middleton they will be getting. Middleton has proven himself over the years as a very good secondary option next to Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he was excellent in the 2021 playoffs to help win the Bucks a title.
However, injuries have hampered him over the last 18 months, as he missed much of the 2022 playoffs with injury and was limited for most of last season as well. Upon coming back from injury last season, he was put on a minutes restriction, didn’t look like the same great Khris Middleton right away, and definitely seemed to have lost a step defensively.
So why should fans believe he can look like his prime self again? Well, Middleton definitely looked better and better towards the end of the season as his minutes slowly got ramped back up. In his first 14 games back, Middleton played just 20.5 minutes per game and averaged 14.3 points and 3.9 assists on 56 percent true shooting.
Then began playing starter minutes again, and in the final month of the season played 30.5 minutes per game and averaged 19.9 points and seven assists on 59 percent true shooting. Then, in the first round series against Miami, he was one of the few bright spots for the Bucks, averaging 23.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 6.2 assists on 60 percent true shooting.
Middleton looked very much like his prime self again offensively once he was close to full health and off his minutes restriction. He should finally be totally healthy again after having offseason surgery, and hopefully that helps him go back to being a better defender as well. Adding Damian Lillard to the mix will open things up for him and put him in prime position to have a great season. If Khris looks like Khris, the Bucks will be title favorites. If not, it could be something that ends up holding them back.