Gauging panic meter on 3 struggling Milwaukee Bucks before NBA Playoffs

Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Pelicans
Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Pelicans / Chris Graythen/GettyImages
2 of 3

Khris Middleton

It's been a strange season for Khris Middleton, who has repeatedly been in and out of the lineup due to injury. Upon returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him for over a month, Middleton reeled off back to back 22 point games, looking like he had not missed a beat. However, over his last three, he's lost any rhythm he had previously been establishing.

During this past trio of games, Middleton has averaged a mere 10 points per game while shooting 36.1 percent from the floor and a vile 21.1 percent from 3-point range. On top of that, he has been sloppy with the ball, tallying 3.3 turnovers on average. Sure, he's also grabbing eight rebounds and handing out 7.7 assists, but his scoring, efficiency and ball-security been flat-out abysmal.

The Milwaukee Bucks cannot win an NBA title with Khris Middleton playing this brand of basketball. That's not too controversial to say. They need the forward knocking down his shots efficiently and frequently. This is a player who was leading the league in mid-range field goal percentage at one point this season, and he's got to get back to that level to elevate this Milwaukee offense.

An added concern factor here is Middleton's health. He's back on the court, but he was certainly out of the mix for a while. What's his conditioning like? Is he ready for the big minutes? He did play 39 against the Lakers, but that was in a double overtime matchup. In a playoff setting, the Bucks need Middleton on the floor as much as possible.

There's undoubtedly hope that Middleton can get back to being the mid-range maestro and scoring threat the Bucks need him to be. It's unclear how much of a workload he can take on, especially in an intense playoff environment, but he can help this team when that shot is falling. Ramping him up and getting his minutes total a bit higher would be a good sign before the postseason begins.

BTBP Panic Meter - 6