3 Studs, 1 dud from Bucks' magnificent Game 1 win over Pacers

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game One
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks - Game One / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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Stud - Khris Middleton

While Damian Lillard was cooking in the first half, Khris Middleton took a step back to allow his fellow Buck to dominate. Yet, when Lillard started struggling to find that same type of success in the second half, the script flipped as Middleton started carrying the load offensively for the Milwaukee Bucks.

After an eight-point first half, Middleton upped his aggression with eight shot attempts across the last 24 minutes, putting up 15 points on an efficient 6-of-8 shooting. Whenever it felt like the Pacers were about to go on a run, Middleton gave Milwaukee a needed lift with a bucket. He looked like the player who hit endless big shots from the Milwaukee Bucks in their 2021 title run.

In total, the forward finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and even a block while hitting 64.3 percent of his shots (9-of-14). With Antetokounmpo out and the Bucks slumping in the second half, this is exactly the type of performance Khris Middleton needed to deliver. He was a +25 in the entire game, the highest on either side, capturing his impact.

If there was something to knock Middleton, it would be his five personal fouls. However, the good undoubtedly outweighed the bad in this one, so Khris Middleton will comfortably find himself in the stud category for an excellent Game 1 performance.