The Milwaukee Bucks are making room for reinforcements. After getting surgery on his wrist in the offseason, three-time All-Star Khris Middleton (torn left wrist) is expected to return on Friday when the team takes on the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. 

The last time Middleton was on the court, he went down with an MCL sprain during the first round of last year’s playoffs versus the Chicago Bulls. Despite still winning the series, the Bucks would later lose in seven games to the Boston Celtics in the semifinals. Milwaukee missed Middleton’s contributions, and it left many wondering what would have happened if he had been out there.

In response, Milwaukee has bounced back well to start the season. The Bucks are second in the East with a 15-5 record, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing out of his mind, averaging a career-high 31.3 points per on 53.3 percent shooting from the field. 

When Middleton is back, this will certainly make Antetokounmpo’s job easier. He will have less of a scoring load to carry for Milwaukee, thanks to his co-star.

Last season, the 31-year-old averaged 20.1 points and 5.4 assists per game. The offense will significantly improve as well because of Middleton’s ability to play off the ball. Expect Milwaukee’s 17th-ranked 111.2 .offensive rating of to shoot up. Having such a middling offense really highlights this team’s top-ranked defense (106.5 defensive rating) for their early success.

If the Bucks can win their Friday matchup with the Lakers, that will make it four consecutive wins for this team.

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