Bucks’ Khris Middleton misses at least two more games with sprained knee

Khris Middleton’s value was evident in the Bucks’ Game 2 loss to the Celtics. Boston’s defense kept Giannis Antetokounmpo in check with limited help – Grant Williams and Al Horford were spectacular – allowing the other defenders to stay home on shooters and take a good look. (It wasn’t that simple, but that’s the basic idea.)

This is where the Bucks would typically turn to All-Star and Olympian Middleton to be a secondary shot-maker, run him the pick-and-roll, and let him create (he’s also a tough game on a switch , a 6’7″ wing that can topple the 3 or punish a smaller player on a post.Without this option in Game 2, the Bucks struggled to create a good appearance when Antetokounmpo didn’t.

The Bucks will be without Middleton in Games 3 and 4 of their second-round series.

The team released a statement on Thursday – two weeks after he sprained the MCL in his left knee – but did not provide any details or timeline. “Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton continues to make steady progress in rehabilitating his left knee injury and additional updates will be provided as appropriate,” the statement read.

When coach Mike Budenholzer was asked directly on Thursday if Middleton would play in the games this weekend at home, He said no.” When asked if Middleton could play later in the series, he replied, “we’ll see.”

Not exactly a positive sign, but the door is open.

Middleton averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game this season, and the Bucks were better by +5.2 per 100 possessions when he was on the court.

George Hill, the Bucks guard who has been out for this series, is also closer to a return after spending most of practice on Thursday.

“We just have to see how he does,” Budenholzer said of Hill playing in Game 3 (quote via Associated Press). He added that Hill is “closer” to a comeback.

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