Phoenix Suns: 3 Most Important Matchups vs Milwaukee Bucks NBA Finals

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
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Phoenix Suns NBA Finals Matchup: Mikal Bridges needs to limit Khris Middleton’s Scoring

With Antetokounmpo’s hyper-extended knee pasting an incredibly large question mark over Milwaukee’s starting lineup right now, it remains unknown who might need to shift where, making it impossible to know for sure which Suns might matchup against which Bucks.

But with Khris Middleton playing so well lately, even leading some to view him as Milwaukee’s “Batman” rather than “Robin,” it feels reasonable to expect the Suns to put their best defender on him, that being Mikal Bridges.

With impressive lateral quickness and an extended wingspan, Bridges stands fully equipped to bother Middleton, surely helping Phoenix’s cause. Averaging 24.7 points per game since Antetokounmpo’s injury, Middleton all too recently lead Milwaukee past the Atlanta Hawks with incredible poise and assertiveness.

But even if Antetokounmpo returns for Game 1, Middleton still remains an all too important player to not prioritize while on defense. He scored 38 points during his last contest with a healthy Antetokounmpo, going 6-12 from distance. No matter how you look at it, Middleton warrants concern.

During this postseason, Milwaukee owns an 11-0 record when Middleton shoots above 40.0 percent from the field. But all other games have the Bucks at 1-5. Clearly, the Suns need Bridges to use that wingspan and get into Middleton’s grill whenever he rises up for his trademark jump shot.

Middleton also outweighs Bridges by about 15 pounds, but the two stand equally tall at 6’7. Luckily, Middleton typically neglects from playing hard-nosed, physical basketball, averaging 9.4 pull up field goal attempts per game this postseason.

In doing this, Middleton denies himself any chance to exploit his lone advantage over Bridges. Let him continue doing that though, instead just focus on challenging his jump shot, and get his field goal percentage under 40.0 percent by any means necessary.