Report: Bucks' Khris Middleton Set to Miss Entire Celtics Series with Knee Injury

Adam WellsApril 28, 2022

Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton drives past Chicago Bulls' DeMar DeRozan during the first half of Game 1 of their first round NBA playoff basketball game Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo/Morry Gash

Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton is reportedly expected to miss the team's entire second-round playoff series with a Grade 2 MCL sprain.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Middleton is in jeopardy of missing the Eastern Conference Finals as well should the Bucks make it that far.

Milwaukee's quest to repeat as NBA champions hit a speed bump in Game 2 of the team's first-round series against the Chicago Bulls when Middleton suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee during the fourth quarter. 

The forward missed the rest of the series after the injury occurred. He was initially expected to be out for at least two weeks. 

Middleton's ability on both ends of the court makes him an essential piece for the Bucks. He ranked second on the team in scoring average (20.1 points per game) and third in assists (5.4) during the regular season.

The 30-year-old was also integral to the Bucks winning a championship last season, averaging 23.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 23 playoff games.

The offense always runs through Giannis Antetokounmpo, regardless of the three-time All Star's status. Jrue Holiday will have to take on an increased role on the offensive end for the time being. 

Until Middleton is able to return, head coach Mike Budenholzer will likely go with a two-center starting lineup of Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis. Grayson Allen should also continue to see increased playing time off the bench.

The Bucks already faced a huge challenge against a stacked Celtics team led by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, but doing it without Middleton will make things that much tougher.