The Milwaukee Bucks are having a great season with young talent and surprisingly high wins. However, they have had their share of drama this year in which Bobby Portis was suspended for punching teammate Khris Middleton breaking his jaw. The team is still winning without him and playing more effectively than most people expected..
The Milwaukee Bucks have been playing without Khris Middleton for a while now, and they are still winning games. The team is doing well despite losing their star player.
1.43 a.m. ET
ESPN’s Jamal Collier
CHICAGO (WLS) — After hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to conclude the third quarter and enhance the Milwaukee Bucks’ already sizable lead in what was shaping up to be a decisive win in Game 3 on Friday night, Bucks player Bobby Portis paused and shimmed, relishing the basket for a few more seconds.
Portis was welcomed by Bucks player Grayson Allen as he headed off the floor, and the two dapped up and hugged before walking to the bench. Their combined performance — Allen led all scorers with 22 points, while Portis added 18 points after sliding into the starting lineup — guided the Bucks to a 111-81 win and served as a spoiler for a Chicago crowd set to leave with the game already out of reach.
Allen and Portis stepped up in Milwaukee’s first game without forward Khris Middleton, who will miss the remainder of the first-round series due to a damaged MCL, to lead Milwaukee to a 2-1 series lead. Game 4 will take place in Chicago on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a huge game for us, and we’re not going to make any excuses,” Portis said after the game on Friday. “One of our brothers was injured, and the rest of the boys had to step up.”
In the absence of one of their top players, the Bucks hoped to rely on their experience to get through this series. Last season, they reached the Eastern Conference Finals sans star Giannis Antetokounmpo. They went through 31 different starting lineups this season, and Friday’s super-sized starting lineup, which included Portis, Antetokounmpo, and Brook Lopez in the front court and Wesley Matthews and Jrue Holiday in the backcourt, had only played two minutes together all season, in Game 1. As a result, the Bucks were prepared to compensate for Middleton’s absence on Friday.
At shootaround on Friday morning, Bucks guard Pat Connaughton said, “We’ve had people out at various points throughout the season and we’ve had other guys step up.” “It’s the same here.”
Portis was obliged to adopt a new look for Game 3 in addition to his new place in the starting lineup. He played the game with safety eyewear on, his right eye still red after an elbow to the face from Bulls center Tristan Thompson in the first quarter of Game 2.
In Game 2, Portis remarked, “I couldn’t see at all.” “I simply went down because I was dizzy and couldn’t see when it occurred. I just passed out.”
Portis stated that his eye was still bothering him, but he persevered, making 7 of 14 field shots (4 of 8 from 3) for 18 points in 25 minutes.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine remarked, “He stepped up and made huge plays.” “He did his job, and if that’s how they’re going to go moving ahead, I believe we’ll have to adapt.”
Coach Mike Budenholzer opted for Portis over Allen in the starting lineup, as he had done previously in the season. But no Bucks player’s output varies as much depending on whether Middleton is on the field.
During the regular season, Allen averaged 9.6 points in 53 games with Middleton in the lineup, compared to 17.2 points in 13 games without him.
Despite not making a 3-pointer in the previous two games of the series, Allen shot 5-for-7 on Friday, establishing a new playoff career best with 22 points.
“My mentality was the same,” Allen added. “I believe it was simply being in various positions that made me a little bit faster to take some of those catch-and-shoot shots I got.” On offense, I was in some of the areas where Khris typically is, and I received the ball.
“Even after I hadn’t hit a three in the series yet, Pat had missed a few, and Giannis and Jrue were still giving it to us, which was fantastic. They continue to have faith in us after that, which gives us confidence. We know it’ll go in eventually.”
While Allen and Portis contributed offensively, Holiday and Matthews continued to harass LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, the Bulls’ leading scorers.
DeRozan was limited to just nine shot attempts on Friday, the fewest he has had in any game this season, and could not match his 41-point effort in Game 2.
“I wasn’t irritated at all because I knew they were going to make changes,” DeRozan, who ended with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting, said. “I acquired a feel for it during the game, but they had it rolling offensively by the time I had a feel for it. You have to give them credit; now it’s up to us to figure out how we’re going to counteract it.”
Before tip-off, supporters crammed into a sold-out United Center, filled with anticipation for the Bulls’ first playoff game since 2017.
They never had anything to rejoice about, however. Milwaukee thrashed Chicago in the playoffs, inflicting the Bulls their worst home playoff defeat in team history, topping a 26-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1992. DeRozan said, “They came out and whooped our butt.” “It’s now up to us. What are our options for retaliation?”
The “khris middleton update” is the Milwaukee Bucks coming up big without their star. The team has been able to make it this far in the playoffs without Khris Middleton thanks to a strong performance from Bobby Portis and Grayson Allen.
- brook lopez injury update
- is khris middleton playing tonight
- brook lopez return
- khris middleton injury
- khris middleton