NBA Rumors: Bucks’ Khris Middleton, Celtics Killer, To Miss Entire Series

A massive loss for Milwaukee

by

April 28

Khris Middleton is a Celtics killer but the key Bucks role player reportedly won’t be able to suit up when Boston and Milwaukee meet in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Middleton has a Grade 2 knee sprain and will miss the entire series, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Thursday morning, citing sources. According to the report, the Bucks could get Middleton back if they advance to the Eastern Conference finals, but even that’s not a guarantee.

And without Middleton, getting past the Celtics just became even more difficult for Milwaukee. Celtics tormenting aside, Middleton might be the Bucks’ most-important player not named Giannis Antetokounmpo. Middleton played in 77 games this season and was the second-leading scorer, averaging 18 points per game on 44% shooting from the field and was one of the Bucks’ most-prolific 3-point shooters.

And while you never want to celebrate an opponent’s injury, Celtics fans can be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief. Middleton torched Boston during the 2018 playoffs when he averaged 25 points per game in their first-round series. That included a Game 7 performance in which he scored 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. He then averaged just under 20 points in Milwaukee’s 2019 series win over Boston, including a career-high seven 3-pointers as a plus-21 in a series-turning Game 2 win.

Furthermore, it allows Boston to turn even more of its defensive attention to Antetokounmpo. Given what the Celtics were able to do against Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the first round, that’s a point that can’t be overlooked heading into the series.

The Celtics opened as considerable favorites in the series, with DraftKings Sportsbook laying a -190 on Boston and the Bucks at +160. As of Thursday morning, shortly after Charania’s report, the series was taken off the board at DK.

The series will begin Sunday afternoon at TD Garden in Boston.

Thumbnail photo via Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports Images
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