After a nine games absence from the floor, Malcolm Brogdon made his return to the court as the Indiana Pacers hosted the Boston Celtics.
The Indiana Pacers were glad to welcome back Malcolm Brogdon, after playing the last two weeks without their floor general and leader of the team.
Brogdon has been dealing with an Achilles injury and while nursing that injury, he entered the league’s health and safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19. He cleared protocols last week, but the Achilles was still bothering him.
The Pacers medical staff and Brogdon felt that the Achilles was good enough to play on so Brogdon was able to play in tonight’s game.
Recapping Malcolm Brogdon’s performance in the first game back. He missed nine games to health and safety protocols/sore right Achilles.
On the Indiana Pacers’ first offensive possession of the game, Malcolm Brogdon hit a floating jump-shot. The next possession down, Brogdon wound up with the ball in his hands as the shot clock was expiring. He took a rushed shot and hit nothing but the side of the backboard.
A few possessions later Brogdon missed a three at the top of the key. It was a clean, wide-open look, but the shot did not fall.
Fan-favorite Lance Stephenson entered the game for Malcolm Brogdon in the first quarter with 7:02 left to play. Brogdon would not return for the rest of the quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, Brogdon reentered the game for Lance Stephenson. Brogdon had a turnover, a missed layup, and made a basket before being substituted out for Stephenson with 6-minutes and 42-seconds remaining in the second quarter.
After a 4-minute break, Brogdon returned to the lineup for Stephenson with 2-minutes and 24-seconds left to play. Brogdon finished out the second quarter with just one rebound in that 2-minute stretch.
Just four minutes into the third quarter, Brogdon missed a floating drive and the Pacers called timeout on their next possession. Lance Stephenson entered the game and Malcolm Brogdon exited the game as he made his way to the locker room.
Indiana Pacers sideline reporter for Bally Sports Indiana, Jeremiah Johnson, reported in the fourth quarter that Malcolm Brogdon would not return due to an Achilles injury.
A sight all too familiar to Pacers fans, Malcolm Brogdon dealing with an injury.
Injuries are a part of the game, but Brogdon has suffered multiple injuries since joining Indiana and these injuries have all been different.
Rick Carlisle said this about Brogdon’s injury after the game: “I haven’t talked to the trainers yet and so I don’t know how Malcolm Brogdon is doing with his right Achilles.”
What the Pacers should do with Brogdon’s injury situation?
This Achilles injury for Brogdon doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, and without knowing the severity of it, it might be wise to shut Brogdon down till the All-Star break is completed.
Indiana agreed to an extension with Brogdon in the off-season making him ineligible to be traded before the deadline.
There is no reason to trot Brogdon onto the floor with this injury and with the way this year has played out.
You’re not trying to increase Brogdon’s trade value this season since he cannot be traded. You want him to be one-hundred percent healthy before he returns to action.
If this injury lingers past the All-Star break, it would be smart to let Brogdon sit the remainder of the season. There is no reason for him to play hurt with how this year has played out for the Pacers.
Sitting Brogdon out for a chunk of the season would allow for more playing time for rookie guards Keifer Sykes and Duane Washington Jr. It would also allow for Lance Stephenson to play more minutes at the point guard position.
What changes should be made to the rotation if Brogdon can return?
If Malcolm Brogdon is able to return to the lineup over the next few games, I would like to see Carlisle play Brogdon with Lance Stephenson more.
I truly believe that Stephenson’s ability to see the floor and his willingness to pass would benefit Brogdon, who is a career 37.8% three-point shooter.
Pairing LeVert and Stephenson together does create more playmaking, but with how inconsistent they are as shooters from distance, it makes the team easier to defend.
I think Brogdon is a nice fit with both guards, as LeVert and Stephenson are best with the ball in their hands. Brogdon’s floor spacing would open up the paint for Domantas Sabonis or Myles Turner in a pick-and-roll situation, and if the defense collapses Brogdon can make them pay from the outside.
What is Brogdon’s future with the Indiana Pacers and how do fans perceive him?
It is clear that fans are torn on Malcolm Brogdon but he wants to be here long term. He told Jared Weiss from The Athletic that he would like to remain in Indiana even if they go through a rebuild.
His contract extension was a bit of a surprise, but it’s at fair value. He has taken on the task of being the leader of this team and has a solid relationship with coach Carlisle.
Throughout the last two seasons, you can make the case that Brogdon has been the best player on the court. Injuries have hurt his case, but statistically, Brogdon has been a pro more than a con for this team.
Hopefully, Brogdon can overcome this injury and be back on the court sooner rather than later.