3 Studs and 3 duds from the Milwaukee Bucks' late defeat to the Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks: Semifinals - 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament
Indiana Pacers v Milwaukee Bucks: Semifinals - 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Stud - Khris Middleton

Khris Middleton had a quietly solid game and nothing more than that. Some late-game decisions, whether down to him or coaching, make this a very light 'stud' decision, but overall, his performance was good.

In 30 minutes he finished with 20 points on 54 percent shooting, hitting four of his five attempts from deep. Seven rebounds and four assists with two steals also cements his performance. Now for the slight tarnishing of his performance. Late on it seemed that the Bucks were leaning on Middleton over Lillard and Giannis.

Again, not sure if this is down to him making that decision when bringing the ball up the court or coaching, but we know he can do it. Lillard is one of the most clutch players in the league, and to basically ignore him completely is weird. It was strange to see as the Bucks have been one of the best fourth-quarter teams this season, and Lillard has been key to that success.

Four turnovers, including a late one with the Bucks down three, weren't great, but overall, it was one of his better performances of the season. Those 20 points were a season-high for him, and he is averaging just 12.4 points on the season, so overall, I think Middleton was a stud last night, just with a couple of blemishes on his performance.

Dud - MarJon Beauchamp

Along with Portis, MarJon Beauchamp really struggled to make any sort of impact off the bench last night. The bench unit as a whole managed to score just 13 points on 18 shots which is frankly going to give the team a mountain to climb.

Beauchamp finished with five points, hitting two of three shots but really struggling from the free throw line, making one of his four attempts. Six rebounds and a steal are commendable. As you know, he will bring something defensively, but offensively is where he needs to provide more in order to continue being a big feature from the bench.

In his time on the court, Beauchamp's +/- was -17. In 15 minutes, that is quite staggering, and that is not just down to him, but one player finished with a worse +/-, along with the third worst on the Bucks being -6. Beauchamp still has a bright future, but he needs to be adding more offensively to continue growing. The Bucks can't keep finding themselves in situations where the starters have to keep dragging them out of a hole to be in with a chance of winning games.