Coming off an amazing 2016-17 season that saw him win the Rookie of the Year award, Malcolm Brogdon looked to continue to his success in the 2017-18 season. However, he hit the proverbial sophomore slump last season.
Last Season: Year 2 Cut Short
The University of Virginia alum missed half of the season when he tore a tendon in his left quad on February 1st. It was a devastating injury because it came at a time when he was starting to ignite the Milwaukee Bucks offense. To start the calendar year, Brogdon scored double-digit points in 10 of the first 13 games he played in to start 2018. That included a 32 point night against the Phoenix Suns.
Bucks Malcolm Brogdon leaves game after suffering non-contact injury during fastbreak layup, says he "heard something pop" pic.twitter.com/mM4J3MB2ja
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) February 2, 2018
Brogdon played in just 48 games on the season. He was able to come back for the Bucks final two games of the regular season and the opening round playoff series. He had a couple of double-digit point performances against the Boston Celtics in that series, but overall, Brogdon did not play a key role.
For the season, Brogdon finished the year averaging 13/3/3. The numbers are arguably better than his rookie season numbers, but his overall impact for the team went down because of the amount of time he missed. His win shares were down a full four games for the 2017-18 season.
Areas for Improvement: Rebounding and the 3-Pointer
With everyone taking more three-point shots, including the Bucks big men, they will be further away from the paint on offense and likely defense. Meaning rebounding will be key for the Bucks guards, specifically those who will get good amounts of playing time, like Malcolm Brogdon. Rebounding has been an issue for the Bucks in year’s past, but with the new offensive style put in place by Mike Budenholzer, rebounding becomes much more important.
Another area Brogdon needs to improve in with his three-point game. He’s shot better than league average in three-point percentage for his first two seasons. His rookie season, he shot 40 percent from downtown, five percentage points above league average. Last year, Brogdon’s three-point percentage dropped a little bit but was still better than the league average as well.
Because the Bucks are shooting more three-pointers than ever before, Brogdon will obviously be attempting more shots as well. As the league moves towards shooting more and more threes look for Brogdon to play his role in making the Bucks a modern NBA offense.
Projected Role: Two-Guard Starter
Brogdon’s injury limited how many times he started last year, but he’s back at full health. Last year, he started 20 of the 48 games he played in. It’s worth noting that none of those starts came after his injury in February. It’s also worth noting that the Bucks won just nine games when he started a game.
It’s likely that Brogdon is a starter when the season gets underway in less than a week. When Eric Bledsoe came to Milwaukee last November, Brogdon moved to the two-guard and, for the most part, stayed there when he was on the court.
For his projected role for the 2018-19 season, Malcolm Brogdon is likely the starting shooting guard.
Projected Key Stat: Three’s Aplenty
Brogdon can become a secret weapon for the Bucks offense. The primary focus is on Giannis, Middleton, and Bledsoe. How does Brogdon become even more dangerous? If he can nail the three more efficiently. This would give the Bucks primary scorers more room to operate at the rim. Luckily for the Prez, spacing and the three-pointer are huge parts of Mike Budenholer’s offense. If he can get it going from beyond the arc, the Bucks have a fourth weapon.
X-Factor: Stay Healthy
Brogdon needs to stay healthy this year. His quad injury really set him back. He was looking to build off his fantastic rookie season. Now in year three, how often he can stay on the court will determine his success. He looks to become a more important piece to this young Bucks team.