Khris Middleton has been a closer his entire career.
He just showed the rest of the world on Saturday afternoon.
In Friday’s Extra Points, I challenged Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday to play like the max players they’re being paid to be.
Man, did they live up to the challenge.
With Giannis less than 100% after banging his elbow in the middle of the 4th quarter, Khris and Jrue carried the Bucks to a Game 1 win over the Heat.
Holiday’s surge actually began in the third.
He was noticeably more aggressive, scoring 11 points in the frame to keep the Bucks ahead by one heading into the final period.
Then Middleton turned it on.
The all-star snub made a gigantic three-pointer with 4 minutes left in regulation, at the end of an otherwise dormant possession.
The Bucks’ number 2 and number 3 got even better in OT.
Holiday converted a tough, contested lay-up in transition to give the Bucks a three point lead with 40 seconds to play.
And finally, the Middleton dagger.
Because of his injury, the Bucks couldn’t rely on Giannis in crunch time.
In years past, they’d likely have come up short in a game when they’d shot 16% from 3-point range and 60% from the free throw line.
But not this year. Not this game.
This year, they don’t have one max player.
They have three.