Many people wondered if Khris Middleton was good enough to co-star with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and rightfully so, with the Milwaukee Bucks being down 3-0 in the series against the Miami Heat. In Game 4, Middleton showed people that he could step up and take games over if needed.
Antetokounmpo came into game four with an injured ankle; he reinjured his ankle after playing only 11 minutes and was ruled out for the second half of the game. You would figure the Heat would go on to complete the sweep with the Bucks star player out. But Middleton had a different story in mind.
Khris Middleton took the game over and carried the Bucks on his back. Middleton went to work, scoring 21 points in the third quarter and nine in the overtime period to give the Bucks the 118-115 victory. He finished the game with 36 points with eight rebounds, eight assists, and two steals, while shooting 12-28 from the field. Middleton also hit a clutch three-pointer in overtime to put the Bucks up four to seal the game.
With Antetokounmpo out, the Bucks gave the ball to Middleton and told him to get it done. He was hitting step-back jumpers and floaters with Heat defenders all over him. It was nice to see Middleton take over the game and lead the Bucks to victory. It is something we rarely have seen him do during the regular season.
Maybe it is just one game for Middleton, but if he can play like this with Antetokounmpo on the floor, it would pay dividends for the Bucks. Then you would have two players able to take games over.
But it might be too late. The Bucks are down 3-1 now, and no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit before. Also, we don’t know if Antpokmoepo will play game five because of his ankle.
Middleton is a two-time all-star, so he is a good player and is much more than a spot-up shooter for the Bucks. But we never saw him take over a game like this where he was the go-to guy. It will be interesting to see if Middleton can build on this performance for the future.