Unfortunately, it is.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The left MCL injury of Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton is a Grade 2 sprain and he is expected to miss the entire second-round series vs. Celtics, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The recovery of Grade 2 MCL places a potential Conference Finals in jeopardy for him as well.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 28, 2022
This is a huge, potentially championship-altering loss – especially entering a series against Boston, which looked so good sweeping the Nets.
But Middleton, a star himself, is so important to this team.
He’s often Milwaukee’s go-to player in crunch time. His shooting/scoring, both with the ball in mid-range and spotting up from beyond the arc, alleviates pressure on Antetokounmpo. Middleton is a solid wing defender, and the Bucks can’t have enough of those against Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Milwaukee has reasonable wing depth with Wesley Matthews, Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton. It’d be stronger if George Hill gets healthy. Jevon Carter cracked the guard rotation against the Bulls, allowing Allen and Connaughton to play more small forward. The Bucks sometimes go big with Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis up front.
But masking the loss of Middleton goes only so far.
Milwaukee would’ve been far better off with Middleton. This injury really bites.