Bucks reportedly pessimistic that Khris Middleton will play in Game 7

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Middleton has missed every game so far in the series due to an MCL sprain.

Khris Middleton has not played so far in the series against the Celtics. The Associated Press

Bucks forward/guard Khris Middleton did not play in the first six games of the Celtics-Bucks second-round series. It looks like he will also miss the seventh and final game in the series.

Milwaukee doesn’t seem optimistic that Middleton will be available for Game 7, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

“Earlier this week, people I was talking to were giving me some optimism about Middleton playing this weekend, but that hasn’t happened. It didn’t develop,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “And now I would say there is pessimism about Sunday, and frankly I was told that even if the Bucks advanced to the conference finals, there would be pessimism, he would be ready to go.”

Middleton has been out since suffering a sprain at the MCL on April 20 during the Bucks’ first round against the Bulls, missing the final three games of that series before losing every game up to this point in the conference semifinals. While it was reported before the series that Middleton would miss the entire second round, there were rumors earlier in the week that he could return if the series went seven games.

Middleton’s absence is certainly huge for the Bucks. Without its leading scorer of 20 points per game, Milwaukee is scoring just 104.8 points per 100 possessions in his streak against Boston. That’s down from the 115 points per possession he scored with Middleton on the court during the regular season.

The Bucks also had very low scoring outside of Giannis Antentokounmpo (35.3 points per game) and Jrue Holiday (21 points per game) over the course of the series. Pat Connaughton is the only other Buck to average double-digit scores at 11.7 points per game. In Middleton’s absence, the Bucks were forced to play heavy minutes from Wes Matthews, Grayson Allen and George Hill, to which they did not have much success. The Bucks had a net zero per 100 possessions with Matthews on the ground during the series, but were outclassed by 21 points per 100 possessions when Allen was on the ground and 16 points per 100 possessions when Hill was on the ground. .

Middleton has been known in recent years to be a “Celtic assassin”, too. In the 2018 playoff series against both teams, Middleton scored 24.7 points per game in 0.598/0.610/0.737 shooting divisions. He wasn’t as successful against the Celtics this season, though, scoring 14.3 points per game on .410/0.389/0.800 shooting divisions.

As for the Celtics, it’s unclear whether starting center Robert Williams will play in Game 7. After missing nearly four weeks of action in March and April due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Williams missed the last three games with a bone bruise. , which caused knee pain in the same knee he tore his MCL.

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