The key to the Milwaukee Bucks' success this season might be with this veteran

Milwaukee Bucks v Phoenix Suns
Milwaukee Bucks v Phoenix Suns / Kelsey Grant/GettyImages

It’s hard not to yell at the television sometimes when you are taking in a game. And, of course, I have no way to prove this, but if there is one true “yell-at-the-tv-player” on the Milwaukee Bucks, it has to be Khris Middleton. 

Most Bucks fans would agree. They would also agree he needs to get going to help this team make an NBA championship run. This team needs him as a third scoring option.

“Khash Money Khris” is 32 years old. He is, at times, as big a part of this franchise as any other player on the roster, save Giannis Antetokounmpo. He is on a huge contract and has a great yet frustrating 3-point shot.

Back in 2019, Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton had this to say about the team's culture, per The Athletic's Sam Amick (subscription required):

“I think Jon Horst and [Former coach Mike Budenholzer], they’ve done a great job of just having high character guys in here. They speak about it all the time, like we don’t really have a******* on this team."

That was Khris Middleton in an interview back in 2019. Here, he speaks to Bucks culture and what it means to the team to do things “the right way.” 

That is why over the next 26 games I’d be shocked-SHOCKED- if he played in more than half of them. The team will want to get him back when he is “right”, not when it needs to be rushed. Of course, the key to all of this relates back to playoff seeding and need. So then what has or what needs to change?

The key to the Milwaukee Bucks' success this season might be with this veteran

Of course, the team has changed a lot since 2019. Now, with Damian Lillard in the fold, Middleton is not needed as the number two scoring option (Lillard is averaging over 24 points per game).

The Milwaukee Bucks are currently second in the NBA in team scoring (122 points per game). 

Khris Middleton still needs to find ways to score for this team to reach its regular season and postseason goals. His current scoring average is not anything to write home about yet this season.

Middleton, as of the time of this writing, is averaging 14.8 points per game in 43 games played. He is only playing around 26 minutes in the games he does play and averages four rebounds.

Everything Middleton has done this year is well below his career averages. Over his career, Middleton has averaged 16.9 points per game and five rebounds. The only thing that has gone better for Middleton so far is his assists per game number. That is slightly improved ( five vs 3.9). 

Middleton (6-foot-7) is a versatile and skilled forward known for his scoring, clutch threes, and above-average defensive abilities. He really is a “diamond in the rough.”

His journey to NBA stardom began at Texas A&M, where he played college basketball for the Aggies. Middleton was drafted by the Detroit Pistons as the 39th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. However, Middleton truly flourished after being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013 as part of a deal that sent Brandon Jennings to the Pistons.

The Bucks were the clear “winners” of that trade.

Fans know it, and coaches seem to echo it: if Milwaukee is going to go far in the playoffs, then they are going to need a fully healthy and ready Khris Middleton. 

Don’t expect to see Middleton rushed back in any way.

If Middleton can evolve into a viable scoring option for this team above where he is now, the sky would be the limit for this offense.

Where is Khris Middleton? Well, he seems to be “back.” Can he be more than a shell of himself and that great 2021 NBA Finals run? For Bucks fans everywhere, they certainly hope so. 

Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks analysis and for even more details on the status of Khris Middleton.