Bucks guard Khris Middleton wants to join sniper’s elite this season
Milwaukee Bucks marksman Khris Middleton has shown enough of a shooting acumen to merit him morphing into a volume shooter, so he did. Following his first 20-point scoring season, new coach Mike Budenholzer, having fully adapted to Middleton as Giannis Antetokounmpo’s partner in crime, put the plan in motion.
“Find more ways to get 3-pointers up and find more ways to get to the rim,” Middleton told Eric Nehm of The Athletic.
Last year, Khris Middleton only took 18 percent of his shots at the rim and 30 percent from behind the 3-point line while the bulk of them, a whopping 52 percent, came from mid0range. This time around, he’s decreased his attempts from mid-range by more than half for the Bucks, cutting it to 24 percent while going from 18-to-24 percent near the rim and now taking 52 percent of his total shot attempts from downtown.
“He’s always been a tough shot-maker, so when coach says I want you to shoot more 3s, it just means there’s going to be more points,” said his teammate John Henson. “He’s locked in. His confidence is at an all-time high.”
The 6-foot-8 wing has responded by shooting 15-of-23 from deep (65 percent) thus far into the young season after a blistering 7-of-8 night that saw him score a season-high 30 points when the Bucks beat the New York Knicks 124-113.
While his shooting percentage will surely cool down after a scorching start to the season, shooting it in the 40 percent range, as he has for nearly the entirety of his Bucks career will put him in elite company — joining only six players — Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, J.J. Redick, and Klay Thompson — as the only snipers to shoot over 40 percent last season on six or more 3-point attempts per game.