When it comes to Milwaukee basketball, everything revolves around Giannis Antetokounmpo. As a top three player in the game today, and a 2x MVP, the Greek freak has already proven himself as a star who can carry the Bucks to a championship.
Fortunately, he doesn't have to do it alone. While he often gets overlooked and underappreciated, Kris Middleton is also key to Milwaukee's success, and his reliable production helps keeps the Bucks competitive year after year.
NBA analyst Jay Williams seems to agree, as he gave Middleton his flowers during a recent episode of 'Keyshawn, JWill, & Max.'
"I think the Milwaukee Bucks are the best team in the East. I firmly believe that the Milwaukee Bucks would have beaten the Celtics last year if Khris Middleton was available," Williams said. "Khris Middleton is a 50-40-90 type of basketball player. He may not have the s*x appeal of the bigger names like Kawhi Leonard's and LeBron James' and Kyrie Irving's, but he gets the job done."
While Giannis is the hero of the Bucks, Middleton is sort of like the glue that holds everything together. His well-rounded offensive game means he can create his own shot and close games when necessary.
During Milwaukee's 2021 title run, he was among the highest-impact players on the team, and some say he deserves more credit for his role in bringing Milwaukee a title.
“I think he was a key force in them [Milwaukee] being able to go over the hump,” former Bucks player Todd Day told Basketball News, as quoted by Essentially Sports. “Because when they took Giannis out of the game, and also Jrue was struggling at the time, he just took over. There were two or three games where he just took over. A third quarter he scored like 24 points. Whenever you have two teams that’s really close, you have to have somebody or couple of people who have burst out games; and I think he’s done that.”
After losing to the Celtics in the Eastern Semis, the Bucks are aiming to win back their crown and add another championship to the display case.
It's going to be an uphill climb, but the combined powers of Giannis and Middleton should be enough to get them far.