• February 9, 2023

Bucks’ Middleton taking bigger role as distributor

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton is having a hell of a season.

In 25 games, Middleton averaged 20.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per competition while getting the top 45% of his career from 3 point range.

He also has a career year in terms of assists.

On Monday, Middleton scored 29 points and the best 12 assists of his career in Milwaukee’s win over Denver. He followed with 18 points and another 11 courts on Wednesday against Phoenix. It was the third time in his career that Middleton had scored doubles doubles in two consecutive games, but the first time he did so with points and assists instead of points and rebounds.

This season, Middleton has an average of 6.2 assists per game. His career best to date was 4.3 per competition in the last two seasons.

Middleton has accumulated more than 7 assists in 10 out of 25 games in 2020-21. He had 7+ assists in just nine of 62 games last season and eight of 77 competitions in 2018-19.

The 29-year-old is one of five NBA players who averaged 20+ points, 6+ rebounds and 6+ assists per game over the 2020-21 period. The other four? Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, LeBron James and James Harden.

Middleton also achieves this by shooting 51.6% from the field, 45% from 3 and 91.6% from the free throw line. The only other player in NBA history to record 20/6/6 per game while shooting 50/40/90 was Boston Hall of Fame Forward Larry Bird, 1986-87 and 1987-88.

In Utah, where the Bucks take place on Friday night, there isn’t a single player with an average of 6+ templates per game. But jazz has all-star guardian Donovan Mitchell who is in the middle of his best month of his four-year career. Mitchell averages 28.6 points in five February games. In Utah’s last game against the Celtics on Tuesday, he scored 36 points in the 6-of-13 shooting from downtown.

The Jazz owns the NBA’s best record at 20-5. Like Milwaukee, Utah has injured opponents, recording an average points difference of +8.8 per game. That is second in the league behind the dollars (9.5 PD / G).

The Milwaukee-Utah game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Wisconsin. “Bucks Live” starts at 7:30 pm

Statistics courtesy of Sportradar, NBA.com/stats

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Jack

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