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Bucks reportedly pessimistic about Khris Middleton playing in Game 7


Celtics

Middleton has missed every game so far in the series due to an MCL strain.

Khris Middleton has yet to play in the series against the Celtics. The Associated Press

Bucks fullback/forward Khris Middleton hasn’t played in the first six games of the Celtics-Bucks second-round series. It looks like he will also miss the seventh and final game of the series.

Milwaukee doesn’t seem optimistic about Middleton’s availability for Game 7, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

“Earlier this week people I was talking to were giving me a bit of optimism that Middleton would play this weekend, but that didn’t happen. It didn’t develop,” said Windhorst on ESPN’s “SportsCenter. “And now I would say there’s pessimism about Sunday, and frankly, I’ve been told that even if the Bucks make it to the conference finals, it’s there would be pessimism that he would be willing to start.”

Middleton has been out since suffering an MCL sprain on April 20 in the Bucks’ first-round series against the Bulls, missing the last three games of that series before missing every game so far in the semis. conference final. Although it was reported before the series that Middleton would miss the entire second round, there had been rumors earlier in the week that he could return if the series lasted seven games.

Middleton’s absence is certainly huge for the Bucks. Without its 20 ppg scorer, Milwaukee is only scoring 104.8 points per 100 possessions in its series against Boston. That’s down from the 115 points per possession he scored with Middleton on the court during the regular season.

The Bucks also had very few goals outside of Giannis Antentokounmpo (35.3 ppg) and Jrue Holiday (21 ppg) throughout the series. Pat Connaughton is the only other Buck to average in double figures, at 11.7 points per game. In Middleton’s absence, the Bucks were forced to play heavy minutes in Wes Matthews, Grayson Allen and George Hill, which they did not have much success in. The Bucks were net zero per 100 possessions with Matthews on the ground during the series, but they were outscored by 21 points per 100 possessions when Allen was on the ground and 16 points per 100 possessions when Hill was on the ground. .

Middleton has also been known in recent years to be a “Celtics killer”. In the 2018 playoff series against both teams, Middleton scored 24.7 points per game on .598/.610/.737 shooting ranges. He hasn’t been nearly as successful against the Celtics this season, however, scoring 14.3 points per game with shooting spreads of .410/.389/.800.

As for the Celtics, it’s unclear if starting center Robert Williams will play in Game 7. After missing nearly four weeks of action in March and April due to a torn MCL, Williams has missed the last three games. due to a bone bruise, which caused knee pain in the same knee that he tore his MCL.



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