Bucks is reportedly pessimistic that Khris Middleton will play in Game 7


Middleton has missed every game in the series with an MCL sprain.

Khris Middleton has not played against the Celtics in the series so far. The Associated Press

Bucks guard/forward Khris Middleton has not played in the first six games of the Celtics-Bucks second-round series. It seems he will also miss the seventh and final game of the series.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Milwaukee doesn’t seem optimistic that Middleton will be available for Game 7.

“Earlier this week people I spoke to made me feel optimistic that Middleton would play this weekend but that hasn’t happened. That didn’t develop,” said Windhorst in ESPN’s “SportsCenter”. “And now I’d say there’s pessimism about Sunday, and honestly I’ve been told that even if the Bucks make it to the conference finals, there would be pessimism, he’d be ready to go.”

Middleton has been out since suffering an MCL sprain on April 20 during the Bucks’ first-round series against the Bulls and missing the last three games of that series before missing every game in the conference semifinals to that point. Although there were reports ahead of the series that Middleton would miss the entire second round, there were rumors earlier in the week that he could return if the series had seven games.

Middleton’s absence is certainly huge for the Bucks. Without his 20-points-per-game scorer, Milwaukee is only 104.8 points per 100 possessions in his streak against Boston. That’s fewer than the 115 points per possession it scored on the field with Middleton during the regular season.

Aside from Giannis Antentokounmpo (35.3 points per game) and Jrue Holiday (21 points per game), the Bucks have also scored very few goals throughout the series. Pat Connaughton is the only other Buck averaging double digits at 11.7 points per game. In Middleton’s absence, the Bucks were forced to play tough minutes against Wes Matthews, Grayson Allen and George Hill, with whom they didn’t have much success. The Bucks were net-zero per 100 possessions during the series with Matthews on the floor, but they were outperformed with 21 points per 100 possessions when Allen was on the floor and 16 points per 100 possessions when Hill was on the floor.

Middleton has also been known as the “Celtics killer” in recent years. In the 2018 playoff series against the two teams, Middleton averaged 24.7 points per game with .598/.610/.737 shooting splits. However, he hasn’t had as much success against the Celtics this season, averaging 14.3 points per game on .410/.389/.800 shooting splits.

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

https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-celtics/2022/05/14/khris-middleton-injury-update-celtics-bucks-game-7/ Bucks is reportedly pessimistic that Khris Middleton will play in Game 7

Matthew Hallett

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