When the Indiana Pacers traded six-year vet Malcolm Brogdon to the Boston Celtics over the summer, the expectation was that the former Rookie of the Year could be the missing piece to Boston’s championship puzzle.
Since he’s arrived in Beantown, the 29-year-old point guard has made it clear that he’s ready to sacrifice any individual desires to help push the Celtics over their final hump. The last time Brogdon tasted anything close to championship gold was when Milwaukee made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2019. Since then, Brogdon has made it to the playoff once as a member of the Pacers, losing in the first round of the 2020 bubble playoffs.
One thing that Brogdon believes about these Celtics is that he can mesh well because of his cool and collected personality.
“These guys are locked in,” said Brogdon. “They know what they want. There’s one goal in mind, and guys are just focused. When the guys are in the gym, there’s not a lot of joking; there’s not a lot of laughing. It’s a lot of what my vibe is — I’m all about business when I step in the gym. I consider myself between the lines as soon as I enter the facility every day. So I enjoy the vibe of that; it’s a very workmanship approach. Guys are focused.”
Brogdon’s former college coach, Tony Bennett, believes that his desire to succeed will allow his former point guard to thrive in Boston.
Bennett believes that Boston “will reinvigorate him.” He also cited that Brogdon’s tough-mindedness and defensive pride will help him “fill in with the right pieces,” and he is capable of taking over games and will do “what’s required to win.”
“The thing that I sold Malcolm on, way back when recruiting him — don’t take a backseat. No backseats. He just wanted a chance to go against the best,” said Bennett. “He wanted to compete against the Carolinas and the Dukes, and — obviously, you’ve got a Duke guy [Jayson Tatum] on your team — but that’s what drove him. And now that he’s tasted that and he’s been successful, that still hasn’t changed. He’s very competitive, and he will not back down. And he loves that.
“When you see him matching up on the LeBrons or different guys, he takes great pride in getting a stop, being tough-minded. And I think this will reinvigorate him. I think you’re gonna see him just fill in the right pieces and then, at times, be able to take over games in his way. But just do what’s required to win. And that’s what I think Celtics fans appreciate over the years and will appreciate in him.”
According to Al Horford, Boston acquiring the 50-40-90 club member invigorated the Celtics’ returning core.
This makes sense when you realize the Celtics acquired Brogdon at a relatively low cost after letting go of a protected 2023 first-round pick and a collection of bench players. Indiana’s commitment to tanking was Boston’s ultimate gain as they acquired a dynamic point guard that can space the floor and move the ball with the best of them.
“Bringing a guy like Malcolm in just makes us that much better,” Horford said. “I believe that we have a chance to be where we want to be — but I’m really excited about the upside of our group.”
Brogdon is also confident that he can be the missing piece to the Celtics title hopes, specifically saying that he believes “what I bring to the team, this is something that the team is missing in some ways.
“I do. I think I can help them,” Brogdon said with his usual steely demeanor. “I think what I bring to the team, this is something that the team is missing in some ways. But I think I can definitely help.”
Brogdon will have a chance to prove that theory when the Celtics play the 7ers for their season-opener on Oct. 89.
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