The Milwaukee Bucks secured the best record in the NBA with their 105-92 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
Milwaukee will now have home court advantage throughout the postseason. If they were to find themselves in a decisive Game 7 during the playoff tournament, they’d play it in front of their fans at the Fiserv Forum.
The road goes through Milwaukee. pic.twitter.com/WRB4x2bpqc
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) April 6, 2023
Milwaukee’s victory over Chicago marks the third time in the last five seasons they’ve had the best record in the Eastern Conference. That said, their second-best player, Khris Middleton, suffered a right knee injury in the opening seconds of the Bucks’ 13-point win after attempting a fadeaway jump shot.
Middleton could be seen grimacing and limping up the floor after his missed jumper. He sat out for the remainder of the night’s game.
Middleton came up lame after attempting a fadeaway jumper on the Bucks’ first offensive possession of tonight’s game.
Here is the video: https://t.co/Tniqs67DRD pic.twitter.com/049KWPvNHe
— Eric Nehm (@eric_nehm) April 6, 2023
Without a healthy Khris Middleton, I don’t see how the Bucks will be able to defeat the Boston Celtics.
Middleton has always complimented Giannis Antetokounmpo, playing alongside him over the last 10 years. Antetokounmpo typically dominates at scoring the basketball inside of the paint, while Middleton torches defenses with his jump shooting ability from the mid-range and from behind the three-point arc. They’ve been one of the best 1-2 punches in the NBA for a decade now, and have a championship under their belts to show for it.
Middleton missed most of Milwaukee’s playoff run after suffering an MCL sprain in his left knee in the opening round of the 2022 postseason, according to NBC Sports. Despite being without their second-best player, Antetokounmpo and company pushed the Celtics seven games in the Conference Semifinals before Boston ultimately annihilated them by 28 points at TD Garden. (RELATED: LeBron James Stares Down And Chirps At Russell Westbrook While Getting Blown Out)
The Celtics (who hold the NBA’s second-best record) proved in 2022 that they wouldn’t be defeated by one person, despite how great Antetokounmpo is. No pun intended, but the buck stops for Milwaukee in a series against Boston if they’re without Middleton.
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will prove too much for the Bucks to handle without a fully healthy roster. And not to mention the Celtics loaded up with key role players over the offseason. The acquisitions of players such as Blake Griffin and Malcolm Brogdon have made Boston even better than they were in 2022.
The Bucks have had a great season, but the Celtics will represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals again if Milwaukee is less than 100%.