3 Factors that could doom Milwaukee Bucks' postseason hopes, 2 that could uplift them

Milwaukee Bucks v Sacramento Kings
Milwaukee Bucks v Sacramento Kings / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Doom - Questions about Khris Middleton's health

Health has played a significant role in Milwaukee's postseason shortcomings over the last two years. In 2022, it was Middleton's MCL injury. In 2023, it was Antetokounmpo hurting his back in the opening game against the Miami Heat in the playoffs. Leading up to the 2024 postseason, the Bucks currently have question marks about health on the roster.

Circling back, the biggest unknown is Middleton. After appearing in just 33 games last season, he has played 43 this season, but they have been here and there. He started the 2023-24 season on a tight minutes limit, and just when it seemed like he was back in the mix, he landed on Kevin Durant's foot after a shot and has not played since February 6.

Middleton's return from that ankle sprain seems close, but no timetable has still not been dished out. Rivers summed it up perfectly before Milwaukee's game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday by saying: "He's close, as I've said for, I don't know, 10 games now." There's just so much uncertainty surrounding the entire situation.

With 15 games left, he will not have much time to get back into the swing of things. On top of that, he has only played four games under Doc Rivers, so he's still not overly familiar with the schemes when it comes to actually showcasing them in legitimate game situations. Even if he does come back for the Bucks soon, he will not have much time to get back up to speed.

It's not controversial to say that the Bucks need Middleton to reach their lofty goals. He provides the scoring, playmaking and experience that would benefit this team tremendously, especially in a tense playoff setting. Hopefully he can get back on the court soon.