The Milwaukee Bucks made some of the biggest moves this off-season and have built a strong starting five to roll out for this NBA season.
With the addition of Damian Lillard and extending numerous players on the roster, including Giannis Antetokounmpo, they also added other key role players like Malik Beasley and Cam Payne. It’s clear that the starting lineup is set, with Giannis, Lillard, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Malik Beasley. There are numerous strengths on this Milwaukee Bucks team, but like every roster, there are things that can be cleaned up as the season progresses. In the starting five, there are some distinct weaknesses that – at times – could present as an issue early on in the year.
Starting Lineup Weakness No. 1: Health
This might be a far-fetched weakness, but with Khris Middleton’s health a constant concern, it shouldn’t be ruled out of the equation.
Last year, he was barely in the rotation, and he hasn’t played in 70 games since the 2018-2019 season when he played in 77. Not to mention, he was non-existent during the preseason, outside of playing sparingly in the final preseason game against the Grizzlies. But, there is hope that with a successful off-season surgery and an extended period of rest and recovery, he should be able to get back to his normal form.
The impact he has in the lineup is so significant that if he goes down with an injury, it could lead to an ever-revolving door of the fourth starter in the lineup. There is obviously plenty of depth on the roster to fit that spot, but there aren’t many players who bring what Middleton brings to the table. Having a player that can score to the level he can and being a strong third option behind Giannis and Lillard, the Milwaukee Bucks will be a serious threat offensively.
There are positive signs of him returning to 100 percent health, but he will definitely be limited to start the season.
Slowly building up his workload will ensure that his chances of staying healthy for a longer period of the season will increase. There will be bumps in the road in his ramp-up process, especially with his court time being so limited over the last few months. The Milwaukee Bucks have to make sure Middleton stays healthy because the last thing they want is to be figuring out who will be the fourth starter in the lineup on a week-to-week basis.
It will not only give Coach Adrian Griffin peace of mind knowing that Middleton is healthy and reliable, but also will bolster the offense by adding that third lethal scorer.