The Bucks have been without perimeter scorer Khris Middleton since September when he underwent hamstring surgery expected to sideline him for the duration of 2016/17. According to Steve Aschburner of NBA.com, the 25-year-old could be back ahead of schedule and potentially take the court this year at some point after the All-Star Break.
“It’s possible. That’s if everything goes right, with no setbacks and a good, long stretch of practices,” Middleton told Aschburner of his possible return to the Bucks. “Still a long way to go but I’m working towards it.”
Over the last three seasons the Bucks have seen their swingman develop from an unheralded second-round pick to a legitimate perimeter threat. In 2015/16, the small forward averaged 18.2 points per game.
There’s plenty more out of the Central Division today:
- There’s a general attitude in the Pacers locker room that Monta Ellis would produce more in the second unit, writes Jim Ayello of the Indy Star. The team already starts Jeff Teague who, like Ellis, is most effective when he’s free to dominate the basketball. “It’s hard for him to play with the ball in his hands in the first unit,” Indiana reserve C.J. Miles says.
- After signing a substantial four-year, $50M contract with the Bucks over the offseason, Miles Plumlee was expected to play a vital role in Milwaukee’s rotation. Fast forward to January and the center has played just 9.2 minutes per game. According to Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Pressbox, head coach Jason Kidd suggested that Plumlee put less pressure on himself. Worth noting is that Plumlee’s role could change if Greg Monroe is ultimately moved before the deadline, as has been rumored.
- Having recently returned to practice, it appears as though Reggie Bullock could return to action for the Pistons as early as the end of their upcoming west coast trip, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. The Pistons play at home against the Hawks on January 18.
- As both the coach on the sidelines and one of the executive charged with making personnel decision, Stan Van Gundy has his work cut out for him with the struggling Pistons. He voiced his perspective on the matter to MLive’s Aaron McMann. “We’re all frustrated, but you can’t make decisions out of frustration,” Van Gundy said. “You’ve got to try and have an objective analysis of what we’ve got and where we’re going and everything else.”
- With circumstances grim in Chicago, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer speculates that the volatile situation could soon erupt. O’Connor explores some of the decisions the Bulls have made in the last year, including their decision to entertain trade offers for Jimmy Butler last summer. Fortunately, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times, players on the team have become immune to front office dysfunction.