Remember the Milwaukee Bucks 9-0 start?
Since that spectacular start, the Bucks are an unspectacular 13-11.
A staggering 41-point loss against the Memphis Grzzlies December 15th. An 18-point loss to the Brooklyn Nets on the 23rd, and a 21-point blowout loss to the Celtics on Christmas Day.
Credit the Bucks for losing by just 8 to the Cavaliers after trailing by more than 20 in the second half on December 21st.
Why the lopsided losses?
Let’s start here: Khris Middleton missed three of the four games listed above and was 1-12 shooting in the other.
No Middleton, no championship…it’s that simple. Without Middleton no player can consistently balance the dominance of Giannis. Without Middleton, Jrue Holiday is asked to do the heavy lifting on defense and offense. In the playoffs, that’s too heavy a lift. No other member of the Bucks can be relied upon to shoulder the scoring load.
Giannis is the most indispensable player on the Bucks roster, and maybe the NBA, but the presence and consistent production of Middleton is what separates this team from being championship caliber and a one-round success story.