Milwaukee begins its post-All-Star Recreation schedule Friday at residence in opposition to Miami.

Whereas the All-Star affair is usually known as a “midseason” sport, in actuality the Bucks solely have 24 contests remaining within the common season.

Milwaukee is simply one-half sport behind Boston for the highest seed within the East – the Celtics have performed yet one more sport.

Because the Bucks look to seize not solely the No. 1 seed but in addition a second championship in three years, we check out some necessary matters because the season heads into the house stretch.


We’ll begin off with what is perhaps probably the most Captain Apparent of factors. Sure, the Bucks want Antetokounmpo on the courtroom. We point out it solely due to his latest wrist damage, which ought to hold him out of motion of solely a few video games. Milwaukee is 35-12 when Giannis performs and simply 6-5 when he sits. Antetokounmpo is enjoying at an MVP degree. Once more, fairly apparent, but when he can keep his tempo (31.8 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 5.4 apg) the better the probabilities the Bucks need to seize one other NBA crown. Therefore, it’s crucial he’s truly on the courtroom. How Milwaukee weathers the storm with out him – the Bucks’ subsequent 4 video games, by way of March 1, are in opposition to Miami, Phoenix, Brooklyn and Orlando – shall be a think about chasing that prime seed, too.


Talking of the following 4 video games … and past … Milwaukee has the Eleventh-hardest remaining schedule, with an opponent profitable share of .508. Boston is tenth, at .509. The Bucks and Celtics face one another simply as soon as extra — March 30 in Milwaukee. The Bucks play 14 video games at the moment within the prime 9 within the convention standings: Boston, Brooklyn (twice), Denver, Golden State, Memphis, Miami, Philadelphia (twice), Phoenix (twice), Sacramento and Washington (twice). Which means 10 video games enjoying groups out of the playoffs at 10 or worse: Chicago, Detroit, Indiana (twice), Orlando (twice), San Antonio, Toronto (twice) and Utah. Milwaukee’s closing 12 video games are cut up evenly – 12 at residence, 12 on the highway. The Bucks do get to shut with video games at Washington (present 9 seed), Chicago (14) and Toronto (10), and a contest vs. Memphis within the season’s penultimate sport. If Milwaukee is forward within the East that closing week actually is in its favor (Boston finishes the yr with three residence video games, two vs. Toronto and the finale in opposition to Atlanta). For what it’s price, provides Milwaukee a 48% likelihood to have the No. 1 seed with Boston at 46%.


Khris Middleton hasn’t been himself since returning to motion. He’s taking pictures simply 42.1% from the sector and 28.9% from 3 – each simply profession worsts. Middleton is averaging 13.6 factors, 3.9 assists and three.8 rebounds whereas enjoying solely 21.4 minutes – these numbers may look poor however his per 36 stats – 22.8 factors, 6.6 assists and 6.4 rebounds – are consistent with his latest seasons. It’s simply the taking pictures that’s off observe. Middleton has but to make three 3s in a sport – he has two makes in simply 4 video games. (On the flip aspect, Middleton has missed just one free-throw try.) But regardless of Middleton’s taking pictures struggles he’s clearly having an impression on the sport. In his 17 video games this season the Bucks are 14-3 in these contests. A type of was in his first sport again Dec. 2 and the opposite two on the highway, additionally in December – Dec. 11 at Houston (he performed all of 6 1/2 minutes) and Dec. 15 at Memphis, his final earlier than lacking the following 18 video games. Whereas he’s not but in prime kind but, he has gotten higher. In his final 10 video games, all throughout Milwaukee’s present 12-game win streak, he’s averaging 15.3 factors, 4.7 rebounds and three.6 assists over 19.4 minutes whereas taking pictures 48.3% from the sector and 31.0% from 3. Not fairly classic Middleton. However think about how significantly better the Bucks shall be when he’s actually rounded again into kind.