Khris Middleton’s fourth season with the Milwaukee Bucks started much like his third season did.
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Double-digits in scoring on a consistent basis, a few spikes into the 20s, solid, if unspectacular numbers everywhere else.
But as the calendar changed to December, Middleton seemed to flip a switch.
His baseline began to climb, as did his shooting percentage, to the benefit of the Bucks.
A 33-point performance in a win over the Pacers that saw Middleton shoot 66 percent from the field, then a 55.6 percent, 27-point outing against Dallas.
Those aren’t just good numbers, they’re LeBron James-like numbers.
20+ points, at least 50 percent shooting (since Dec. 20)
Middleton has been in elite company since late December, and joins James and New Orleans center Anthony Davis as the only three NBA players to average at least 20 points and 50 percent from the field since Dec. 20.
— Milwaukee’s four-game winning streak against Miami is one shy of the longest vs. the Heat in team history (five games spanning the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons).
— The Bucks allowed the Heat an average of just 89.8 points per game on 45.0 percent field-goal shooting in last season’s four-game sweep.
— Milwaukee’s defense has been stellar over its last six games, allowing 99.2 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting.
— Michael Carter-Williams is shooting only 39.5 percent from the field in the first half of games this season but 49.7 percent in the second half. That is the third-best percentage turnaround from one half to the next in the NBA this season.