When you think about the Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo is the first player that comes to mind, and for good reason.
He’s already one of the best players in the NBA and has a chance to become a never-before-seen, once-in-a-generation type of talent.
But, Milwaukee has a wildly-talented roster around him as well. Jabari Parker made his season debut after his ACL recovery on Friday. Khris Middleton has proven to be a borderline All-Star level talent. Eric Bledsoe is a dynamic point guard.
However, one player in particular is consistently overlooked, even though he was the Rookie of the Year last season.
Malcolm Brogdon, averaging 13.3 points, 3.2 assists and 3.3 rebounds this season, has been an important part of the team. Spending the majority of the year as Milwaukee’s sixth man, he has recently been elevated to the starting lineup while still filling a prominent role on their second unit as one of the team’s primary ball-handlers.
In the second quarter of Thursday’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Brogdon injured himself on an uncontested, breakaway dunk attempt and was in so much pain that he had to be helped from the court. It appeared as though he mouthed, “I felt something pop” after he landed on the floor.
On Friday, the Bucks announced that he will miss six-to-eight weeks with a partially torn left quadriceps tendon. It will be a huge blow for Milwaukee, who was very close to being back at full strength.
“It’s unfortunate that he got hurt,” Bucks interim coach Joe Prunty told reporters, per ESPN. “We understand that it’s part of the game and we know that. He’s tough minded and he’ll battle through this. We’ll move forward and we talked about it a lot — the next guy be ready to play.”
Although Brogdon’s numbers aren’t eye-popping by any means, he has been very efficient on offense this season and is generally regarded as an elite perimeter defender.
In his absence, Bledsoe’s minutes could increase slightly while reserves Matthew Dellavedova, Sterling Brown and Sean Kilpatrick will each likely see additional playing time.
Brogdon was slated to play in the Rising Stars event on All-Star Weekend. Due to his ailment, Taurean Prince of the Atlanta Hawks will now take his spot.
Overall, Brogdon’s loss will be a hurdle for the Bucks to get past if they want to eventually earn a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. If the Bucks can enter the playoffs as a fully-healthy bunch, they will be a scary group to face.