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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.