An asset is an asset: How the shifting market has stifled the Milwaukee Bucks’ best intentions
September 25th, 2016

This week, Milwaukee Bucks wing man Khris Middleton suffered a torn hamstring, and will miss the majority of the upcoming season. Over the last three years, Middleton has made himself into a quality player. Coming into the league as a sub-par outside shooter, Middleton is now one of the league’s best, and retains the quirky off-the-dribble game that got him to this point to now be a valuable and versatile scoring presence. He is not a star, but he is an asset on any team, and particularly on the one he is on. Last year, the Bucks had only the fifth-worst offense in the league, based in large part due to their bad shooting. They made the most two pointers in the league, but both made and attempted the fewest three-pointers, and only because of Middleton were they close to being the second fewest. Only two players made more than 100 three-pointers (Middleton 143; Jerryd Bayless 101; the third highest was O.J. Mayo at a lowly 52.) The whole team made only 440 three pointers – for context, Steph Curry alone made 402. Moreover, excluding the lone attempt of Johnny O’Bryant, Middleton and Bayless were two of the only five Bucks to shoot over 30% from three. Of the other three, Mayo’s 52 for 162 recorded a lowly 32.1%, while Tyler Ennis and Steve Novak combined for only 15 of 45 all year. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and (to a much smaller degree) Michael Carter-Williams are all key rotation, future and offensive pieces, but all three do it without the three, shooting a combined 52-199 from there in a combined 6,880 minutes. Middleton’s absence, then, will decimate the shooting. Making it worse, Bayless and Mayo have already left – Bayless has gone to the Philadelphia 76ers as a free agent, while Mayo is beginning his two year suspension. Novak is also […]

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