Last night’s game was won on the sole efforts of one man. Khris Middleton. His 4th quarter performance alone was what tipped the scales to the bucks in a pivotal game 3 in Atlanta.
For years now media and fans alike have wondered if Khris Middleton would ever be able to be a true number two to Giannis. Despite a few all star appearances and fantastic regular seasons when the lights were the brightest Middleton would disappear. That is until last night.
For the majority of last night’s game everything was going the Hawks way. They jumped out to an early lead. They were raining 3’s, and they had effectively taken Giannis out of the game in the 2nd half. The bucks needed a 2nd source of offense. And just in the nick of time Robbin (Middleton) arrived.
20 points in the 4th quarter with most of them coming in the last 4 minutes of the game. Not only catching the Hawks lead but passing it and giving the bucks a healthy 10 point difference late in the 4th.
Middleton was engaged. Taking on defenders one on one, and getting open in the “Globe Trotters” passing offense, the Bucks use. With the exclamation in his 4th quarter coming on this play.
What should have been a broken play the Bucks recovered snapped it around the horn to find a wide open Middleton. In previous games in their series and playoffs he misses that shot but not last night.
Another underrated part of his performance last night was defending Trae Young.
Normally my stomach turns when I see the Hawks pick and roll force Middleton to guard Trae. Middleton is a decent defender but by no means as elite as Giannis, Jrue Holiday, or PJ Tucker.
But as the ball was stroking for him offensively he was thriving just as much on the other side of the ball. He was physical, violent, and engaged. Trae Young disappeared in the 4th largely due to the efforts of Middleton.
It feels amazing to watch the Bucks find themselves in this series. Jrue and Giannis’s game one performances were amazing in spite of the loss. Game 2’s blow out had 4 of the starting 5 with 15 points or more. And last night with 38 points it was Middleton stealing a game from Atlanta.
Chuck might be right. This could be our year. #BucksIn7