An Ode to Khris Middleton

It seems Khris is getting closer to winning one of many battles in his career. I mean, isn’t it a strange and eerie feeling that most Bucks fans don’t have to be convinced about his All-Star selection? Yet, despite all the (somewhat justifiable) anxiety, fear, confusion, and hostility concerning Middleton’s contract situation this summer, here we are.

In the past, how would you have described Khris’ game? Inconsistent? Bone-Headed? Frustrating? Unassertive? Deferring? What was he the 3rd, 4th, 5th best player on the team last year? The highest paid, worst second-fiddle in the league?

So far this year? Not so much. This year he has been: efficient, ice-cold, intelligent, and silky smooth. He's got swagger oozing out of his pores in that low-key way only Middleton can. Some games he just spits flames. His turnaround jumpshot in isolation: a work of art. His pull up 3s in transition: oh, quiet my beating heart. His dimes in the PNR: wowza! His 50/40/90 bid: got damn!

What's that you say? The Bucks have a 13.2 NetRTG in 437 minutes with Khris on the court without Giannis on 32.4% USG?

His All-Star selection this year isn’t even a question. The only question seems to be whether or not he could have been a starter. Put his numbers up against Siakam’s you say? Gladly.

(PTS/REB/AST per36; TS; PER, taken from bball-ref)

  • Khris: 25.2/7.3/4.9; .624; 22.1
  • Siakam: 24.4/7.9/3.5; .554; 18.9


Compare him to the other wings in the All-Star game that are considered "second fiddles"?

  • Tatum: 22.9/7.3/3.0; .542; 18.6
  • Ingram: 26.1/ 6.6/4.5; .596; 20.5


How about the primary options?

  • Kawhi: 30.4/8.5/5.7; .579; 26.8
  • Butler: 20.9; 7.1/6.6; .581; 23.7

Well, okay, Kawhi is still a beast.

What about against some notable snubs?

  • George: 27.2/7.0/4.4; .581; 20.4
  • Beal: 29.1/4.6/6.5; .576; 22.7
  • DeRozan: 24.1/6.9/5.4; .608; 22.0
  • Brown: 21.6/7.1/2.6; .600; 17.7
  • Harris: 20.3/7.1/3.1; .565; 16.8

It looks like Khris is slowly but surely winning over Bucks fans, and as a two time All-Star he’s starting to get some national recognition. Will he ever be able to win over the national media or the casual fan with his game? Maybe if he shows that he’s no second fiddle, but the true second star that the Bucks signed to take them to the finals. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s just enjoy Khris’s game while it’s poppin’.

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