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Three Milwaukee Bucks players on ESPN Top-100 list

Despite popular opinion, Jrue Holiday was ranked higher than Khris Middleton.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton, guard Jrue Holiday, and forward Giannis Antetokounmpo

Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, and Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently the best player in the NBA, based on ESPN’s NBArank – which considers predictions for the upcoming season. Joining him from the Milwaukee Bucks on ESPN’s Top 100 list are Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton – at 26 and 31, respectively.

Although Middleton is often considered the second-best player for the Bucks, Holiday being ranked above him is probably because of his defensive capabilities, clubbed with an improved three-point shot.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s reaction to securing top rank

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 10th season will be a season of high expectations, given his surge in recent seasons. He’s averaged a double-double in the last five seasons and improved his playmaking without Middleton in the playoffs. Giannis’ ability to contribute in multiple areas and lead the team effectively helped him climb to the top rank.

However, on NBA’s media day with the Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis gave props to Steph Curry for the Golden State Warriors championship season.

I think the best player in the world is the person that is the last man standing,” Giannis said. “You know, it’s the person that takes his team to the final, to the finish line, and helps them win the game. You know, win games and become champion.”

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In my opinion, the way I view it, the winner is the best.” Giannis added.

How good do the Bucks look for the 2022-23 season?

The Milwaukee Bucks had a strong 2021-22 campaign but were ultimately ousted by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Giannis Antetokounmpo did the heavy lifting in Khris Middleton’s absence, averaging 31.7 points, 14.2 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in the playoffs.

Regarding the roster, the Milwaukee Bucks added Joe Ingles through a three-team deal with the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs. They’ve also added some young legs and retained most of their role players.

Khris Middleton is expected to miss some time initially. While the MCL injury that put him out of action in the playoffs seems to have been worked upon, he reported a wrist issue over the summer.

Sometime around after the All-Star break, I just felt it during one game and it kind of just never went away,” Middleton said. “It wasn’t too painful, just something that was going to have to be fixed at some point.

Missing Middleton to start the season might not be much of a problem, but having him back as soon as possible is their best-case scenario.

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