The Milwaukee Bucks have played respectable this season and enough to be one of the playoff contenders in the East. But they are still missing a key piece in starting shooting guard Khris Middleton and could get back their top shooter after the NBA All-Star break, according to reports.
The Bucks are 18-16 so far this season, good for sixth place in the East. Milwaukee is currently in a three-game winning streak and have won four of their last five games to climb in the team standings.
And they have been doing it without Middleton, who was one of the Bucks’ top scorers last season.
Middleton return to push Bucks deep into the playoff picture
The 25-year-old guard will be playing in his fifth year in the NBA. He was a revelation last season with averages of 18.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.
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Middleton had offseason surgery in his left hamstring and was scheduled to be out until late March. But new reports state that Middleton’s recovery could be faster than expected. The shooter might get back in action as early as late February, or after the NBA All-Star break.
The All-Star festivities is scheduled from February 17 to 19, 2017. If the best-case scenario happens for the Bucks, they will get back Middleton in late next month
“I’m making good progress within the last couple weeks but I’ve still got a long way to go. I feel like I’ll definitely be back this year, barring a setback or anything like that,” Middleton told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “That was just if everything went perfectly.”
With Giannis Antetokounmpo turning out to be an NBA star and with the continued improvement of Jabari Parker, the Bucks look to be one of the most promising teams in the league. Middleton figures to be part of the Bucks’ core along with Antetokounmpo and Parker.
Without Middleton, the Bucks are relying on Tony Snell (acquired via trade with Chicago Bulls) and rookie Malcolm Brogdon, who is proving to be one of the steals in the recent draft.
With Khris Middleton possibly returning late February, the Bucks will be one of the teams to watch out for in the East playoff race as they complete their regular rotation.