Khris Middleton remains an important piece to the Milwaukee Bucks’ process of success, despite having a different role this season. The three-time All-Star has been ruled out for a scheduled Sunday night meeting at the Utah Jazz.
So why is Middleton not playing? With the team’s medical staff taking a cautious approach to Middleton’s right knee injury management, he was ruled out as the team is playing on the second day of a back-to-back.
During Milwaukee’s 129-117 win against the Dallas Mavericks, the Bucks forward logged 38 minutes. Middleton dropped 13 points and eight rebounds. He is averaging 26.7 minutes per game this season.
Moreover, the team will also be without Brook Lopez (personal reasons). Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo (right knee patella tendinitis) and Jackson Jr. (right wrist sprain) are both listed as questionable. Damian Lillard (left ankle sprain), on the other hand, is listed as questionable.
This matchup will be the second and last time these two teams will face one another. They met on Jan. 8, with Utah winning 132-118 in Milwaukee.
What happened to Khris Middleton?
Throughout this season, Khris Middleton has been dealing with knee issues, resulting in seven missed games. Due to his importance as the third option alongside Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks are managing his usage throughout an 82-game season, leading up to the playoffs.
Resting players with a similar condition such as Middleton has been a common practice around the league as NBA teams prioritize the importance of a complete and healthy roster in the postseason.
In 42 games this season, Khris Middleton is averaging 15.0 points (48.6% shooting, including 37.5% from 3-point range), 5.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.
When will Khris Middleton return?
There was no update regarding Khris Middleton’s return, but given that it is a right knee injury management approach, the Milwaukee Bucks don’t see him sitting out that long. The team’s next scheduled game will be on Tuesday at the Phoenix Suns on TNT.
In his absence, fans can expect Malik Beasley, Jae Crowder, and Pat Connaughton to take up more offensive responsibilities to contribute.
The Milwaukee Bucks (33-16), who are in second place in the Eastern Conference, have won six out of their last 10 games.
Following their win against the Dallas Mavericks after falling behind by 25 points, the Bucks are eyeing a second-straight win. Milwaukee had lost the first two road games of a five-game road trip before winning Saturday.