Malcolm Brogdon is the Perfect Guard for the Indiana Pacers

Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Malcolm Brogdon has flourished in his expanded role with the Indiana Pacers. His perfect fit with the team will only continue to pay dividends.

The last few seasons the starting point guard position has been a bit of a revolving door for the Indiana Pacers. George Hill was a mainstay for five seasons, but was traded to the Utah Jazz in July 2016. Indiana received Jeff Teague in the trade and got one underwhelming season before he left in free agency. Darren Collison followed it up with two seasons of starting duties, but his stay never felt permanent.

Collison surprised many by retiring this past summer, and once again leaving the Pacers looking for a lead guard. There were plenty of rumors as to who could fill the void, but the Pacers ended up swinging a trade for the fourth option on last year’s top regular season team.

Malcolm Brogdon played next to an MVP, All-Star, and another one of the best scorers off the drive in the league which relegated him to a lesser role. His usage rate was less than 20 percent during his time with the Bucks. There were plenty of questions about how the uber-efficient guard would handle a bigger role.

Brogdon answered those calls with conviction of Liam Neeson.

It’s hard to find a spots that the former Rookie of the Year isn’t posting career-bests in this season. He is currently posting highs in minutes, field goals, field goal attempts, rebounds, assists, points, player efficiency rating, and box plus/minus while taking just slight dip in shooting efficiency.

Brogdon’s play has not only sparked many to pick him to make his first All-Star team, but it has also propelled into the conversation of the Top-25 players in the league.

The Virginia product has shown the ability to routinely bully smaller guards on both ends of the floor with his 6-5, 229 lb frame. Brogdon’s size creates problems for any team with smaller guards. There is no way a Kemba Walker or Trae Young is going to be able to match-up at the point of attack. This creates a defensive nightmare when they also can’t be hidden off the ball.

Then there is his connection with Domantas Sabonis. The chemistry the two share is palpable. They are by far the Pacers’ best two-man combination and they give Indiana a go-to pick-and-roll tandem late in games. Both will wreck a team’s defensive coverage if their man overplays them just the slightest bit.

That top two-man duo will likely change once when Victor Oladipo returns.

Brogdon will move back into the role as the secondary playmaker, much closer to the Middleton spot than where he was previously. Oladipo will return to his All-Star role and take the responsibility of taking many of the late-game shots, but once again Brogdon will reap the benefits.

Less defensive attention + Weaker of the guard defenders = Easy buckets

The math is simple. Oladipo will command the other team’s best defender and draw tons of help-side attention. Imagine the shooting numbers Brogdon will be able to put up if he does get the Kemba Walker match-up instead of drawing Marcus Smart.

The other benefit will be Indiana immediately becoming a top-3 defensive backcourt. In Oladipo’s last fully healthy season, he snagged an All-Defensive first team selection while Brogdon was the Bucks’ Kawhi Stopper in last year’s playoffs. They have the potential to be devastating.

A duo of long, two-way guards with go-to shotmaking makes the Pacers even more dangerous in the crowded top-half of the Eastern Conference.

The more the season progresses, the more the Pacers will be taken seriously. They have surprised many with the amount of success they attained without their lone All-Star, but that daze will wane. Indiana and Malcolm Brogdon are moving onto everyone’s radar.

Next. Three Factors Propelling the Indiana Pacers. dark

"The Pacers could soon become a dark horse contender and it has a lot to do with the guy that finally shut the revolving door."