The Milwaukee Bucks will be getting some reinforcements soon, as Khris Middleton is set to make his season debut Friday against the Lakers, per ESPN. Middleton had been rehabbing from a wrist surgery he had in the offseason, and recently the Bucks assigned him to their G League squad to ramp up gameplay before he makes his debut.
This is a huge boost for a team that has already started the first quarter of the season strong. Giannis Antetokounmpo looks like an MVP candidate per usual, Jrue Holiday has been consistent on both ends of the floor and Milwaukee has been getting a huge lift from unlikely places like rookie MarJon Beauchamp, who has seen his role increase over the last several weeks.
The Bucks already rank first on defense, and adding Middleton back to the starting lineup will only make them better on that end of the floor. But where Middleton will help the most is on offense, where the Bucks have looked stagnant at times.
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Milwaukee (14-5) ranks 18th in the league on offense, and even worse 22nd in their halfcourt offense, per Cleaning the Glass. Getting back Middleton — a guy who can create off the dribble, be a spot-up shooter and facilitate — will certainly help in that area, making the Bucks an even more dangerous threat in the Eastern Conference.
Expect Middleton to take some time getting back into the swing of things, as he hasn’t played since the first round of the playoffs last season after going down with an MCL sprain. It’s unclear if he’ll be on a minutes restriction, but given his importance to this team it wouldn’t be surprising if he is as the Bucks will certainly try and be cautious in bringing him back. But once Middleton is fully in a rhythm, he’ll surely be back to dropping 20 points on a nightly basis.