3 big things to watch for as Milwaukee Bucks visit Denver Nuggets

DENVER, COLORADO – FEBRUARY 8: (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)

After a hugely successful 5-0 home stand, the Milwaukee Bucks are back on the streets and head to Mile High City to take on the exhausted Denver Nuggets. The Bucks are 11-8, slowly finding their rhythm, and have won five in a row. However, the Nuggets have lost five in a row and have lost many of the key players who come into this game.

Things have been pretty even between these two teams for the past three seasons, dividing the six games 3-3, including a breakdown of last season’s streak where the road team won every game. Depending on the availability of a particular Serbian tall man, tonight’s game may not be that interesting.

The Nuggets are sure to get by without Jamal Murray (ACL recovery), Michael Porter Jr (back) and PJ Dozier (ACL torn). Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic has missed the last three games with a wrist issue so it remains to be seen whether he will play tonight. Regardless, the Nuggets still have some talented players that will be available and playing in Denver is never easy.

Can Khris Middleton find a consistent rhythm on the road for the Milwaukee Bucks versus the Denver Nuggets?

Khris Middleton made a return at the start of the Bucks’ five-game home stand, and the Bucks won five games in a row. It shouldn’t be a coincidence that the Bucks ripped off their best part of the season on Middleton’s return, but his individual performances weren’t exactly what caused it.

In those five games, Middleton averaged 13.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists. While his efficiency numbers aren’t bad, with 52.7 percent real shooting and an effective field goal rate of 47.4 percent, they’re not what you would expect from Middleton.

Part of the reason his average points per game are so low is because Middleton didn’t have that much to do with Bobby Portis’ hot streak. The other problem was that he struggled mightily on his 2-point attempts, hitting 12 out of 31 (38.7 percent), which is roughly equal to his 3-point mark (38.5 percent).

All in all, it’s great to see Middleton back and he’s still found ways to influence the game even when his shot isn’t fired, especially with his pass. Middleton struggled from 3-point earlier in the season but has found his rhythm behind the arch and it’s only a matter of time before he finds it inside the arch as well.

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