The Milwaukee Bucks are still reigning supreme in the East with the regular season winding down. However, they are currently just 2.5 games ahead of the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 seed, and at this point, the top spot is not yet guaranteed for the Bucks.
Milwaukee is in the midst of a two-game winning streak, and they will want to keep their foot on the gas on Friday against the Utah Jazz. The Celtics will be in action on Friday too, and Jayson Tatum and Co. could potentially close the gap on the Bucks with a win against a Tyrese Haliburton-less Indiana Pacers side.
For their part, however, Milwaukee will be the favorite to win on Friday against a shorthanded Jazz side, who will be without the services of Lauri Markkanen, Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton, and Rudy Gay. This is also probably why the Bucks decided to give Khris Middleton the night off against Utah.
After being absent from the initial injury report, Middleton has now been ruled out for Friday's contest as the Bucks look to manage his right knee injury. It doesn't sound like it's anything too concerning, and you also need to consider the fact that the Bucks are scheduled to play again on Saturday against Nikola Jokic the Denver Nuggets. As it appears, this is nothing more than a typical night off for Khris Middleton.
Joining the former All-Star on the sidelines will be Jae Crowder, Goran Dragic, and Meyers Leonard. Despite their shortage of warm bodies, however, Giannis and the Bucks are still expected to come away with a W in Utah.