Film Study: Malcolm Brogdon has the tools to give the Celtics’ offense a boost

The Celtics acquired Malcolm Brogdon in an offseason commerce with the Pacers.

It’s not typically that a crew reaches the Finals after which makes one in every of the greatest offseason additions.

Malcolm Brogdon becoming a member of the Boston Celtics is not fairly (or shut to) Kevin Durant becoming a member of the Golden State Warriors in 2016. But the Celtics had been the finest crew by a large margin over the final three months of final season. And they’ve addressed a couple of weaknesses by including a level guard – one in every of 13 gamers who’ve averaged no less than 18 factors, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in every of the final two seasons – who will get into the paint and handle the ball.

One purpose why the Celtics struggled early final season is accidents. Their beginning lineup performed collectively in simply 12 of their first 47 video games. And one purpose why they misplaced the Finals was their bench; Their beginning lineup outscored the Warriors by 13.3 factors per 100 possessions in its 82 minutes, however all different Boston lineups had been outscored by 11.5 per 100.

Of course, Brogdon performed in simply 36 video games himself final season. And he had the worst 3-point taking pictures season of his profession, making simply 31.2% of his photographs from past the arc.

But if he is wholesome and taking pictures like he did a couple of seasons in the past, the 29-year-old can give the Eastern Conference champions a actual boost. And with three starters who will probably be 25 or youthful on opening evening, the Celtics stay a severe title contender.

Here are some notes, numbers and movie on how Brogdon may also help a crew that does not want a lot to attain the mountaintop.


1. Off-the-dribble attacker

Brogdon’s off-the-dribble stats from final season contradict themselves considerably.

  • According to Synergy monitoring, he scored 1.02 factors per possession as a pick-and-roll ball-handler, the finest mark of his profession and the seventh-best mark amongst 79 gamers with no less than 100 ball-handler possessions.
  • According to Second Spectrum, Brogdon’s efficient discipline objective proportion on pull-up jumpers was simply 43.4%, a mark that ranked simply eightieth amongst 123 gamers with no less than 150 pull-up makes an attempt.

But the proportion of Brogdon’s photographs that had been pull-up jumpers dropped from the season earlier than. And the proportion that was “driving layups” (in accordance to Second Spectrum) jumped from 32% to 39%. With that, he additionally noticed a huge soar in his discipline objective proportion on these driving layups, from 50.8% to 56.7%.

In brief, Brogdon grew to become a extra frequent and higher finisher at the rim, somebody the Celtics may use. Boston ranked simply twenty third in the proportion of their photographs that got here in the paint (45%) and twenty second in free throw price final season.

Brogdon ranked fourth with 18.3 drives per recreation, trailing solely Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luka Doncic and Ja Morant. His free throw price (30.8 makes an attempt per 100 photographs from the discipline) was the finest mark of his profession and ranked twenty first amongst 153 guards with no less than 300 discipline objective makes an attempt.

Brogdon will take it to opposing huge males and may throw off their timing by leaping off both foot:

Malcolm Brogdon drive vs.  Evan Mobley

And he is greater than prepared to end along with his left hand:

Malcolm Brogdon drive vs.  Washington

Overall, Brogdon shot 56.3% in the paint, additionally the finest mark of his profession and a mark which ranked twenty second amongst 97 guards with no less than 200 makes an attempt in the paint.


2. A bit of extra cautious

The Celtics had a turnover drawback in the final two rounds of the playoffs, committing 16.8 turnovers per 100 possessions (worse than the worst price for any crew in the common season) towards the Heat and Warriors. Their turnover price in the Finals (17.6 per 100) was the third worst price for any crew in any collection in the final 5 years.

Brogdon had the tenth lowest turnover price (8.6 per 100 possessions) amongst 49 gamers with a utilization price of 24% or larger final season. He additionally had the lowest turnover price on drives (4.2 per 100) amongst 42 gamers who averaged no less than 10 drives per recreation. And that is with a comparatively excessive move price (he handed 48.9% of the time) on his drives.

He’ll try the occasional soar move, however Brogdon stays in relative management:

Malcolm Brogdon assist vs.  Boston

He likes to drive baseline, which might get the protection rotated:

Malcolm Brogdon assist vs.  Memphis

An further ball-handler in the rotation ought to make issues simpler for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who mixed for 99 (7.6 per recreation) of the Celtics’ 208 turnovers over these final two rounds of the playoffs. Beyond the turnover challenge, it may assist to have these guys taking pictures off the catch extra typically.

Last season, 69% of Tatum’s soar photographs, the thirty seventh highest price amongst 195 gamers with no less than 250 complete jumpers, had been off the dribble. And in the playoffs, he had an efficient discipline objective proportion of simply 42.4% on pull-up jumpers, a mark which ranked nineteenth amongst 30 gamers who tried no less than 50.

Overall, the Celtics ranked thirteenth in the proportion of their 3-pointers (73%) that got here off the catch. Neither Tatum (38.0% vs. 33.4%) nor Brown (36.7% vs. 34.8%) had a enormous distinction between their catch-and-shoot 3-point proportion and their pull-up 3-point proportion, however each little bit counts.

A couple of extra transition alternatives will assist as nicely. Brogdon is not a full-court velocity demon, for positive. But he ranked eleventh with 4.9 “pass-ahead” passes per recreation, in accordance to Second Spectrum. And amongst the 43 gamers who averaged no less than three, he had the fifth lowest turnover price (0.6%) on these pass-aheads.


3. Off the ball

Of course, now that he is teaming with Tatum, Brown, Marcus Smart and Derrick White, Brogdon will probably be requested to play off the ball greater than he has in the previous.

That’s not Brogdon’s desired position. Appearing on the JJ Redick Podcast two years in the past, Brogdon stated that he left Milwaukee for Indiana as a result of he most popular enjoying level guard.

“I used to be enjoying taking pictures guard with the Bucks,” he stated. “I take pleasure in enjoying taking pictures guard, however scoring just isn’t my major factor on the court docket. It’s truly not what I need to do. That’s not my first possibility. I need to get guys concerned. I need to win. I really feel like I’m a winner above all the pieces else and I compete on each ends.

“And Indiana brings the finest out of me, while you have a look at what I simply talked about. Putting me in the level guard place, it permits me to play in my position, in my place, and lead.”

But the Pacers traded for Tyrese Haliburton final season and, to a diploma, took the ball out of Brogdon’s arms. In addition to lacking 46 video games final season, he shot simply 29-for-88 (33.0%) on catch-and-shoot 3s.

But he was 189-for-427 (44.3%) on catch-and-shoot 3s over his earlier three seasons. His 44.4% in 2020-21 ranked fifteenth amongst 141 gamers with no less than 150 catch-and-shoot makes an attempt.

He would not have the quickest launch, and he barely leaves the flooring on his jumper. So Brogdon does want some area and time to launch. But he isn’t any individual that may be ignored on the perimeter…

Malcolm Brogdon catch-and-shoot 3-pointer

And after all, enjoying off the ball is not nearly catch-and-shoot 3s. As famous above, Brogdon is an attacker. And he can definitely assault close-outs when enjoying off the ball:

Malcolm Brogdon assist vs.  Boston


4. Defense

Brogdon is not the most disruptive defender. He hasn’t averaged a steal per recreation since his rookie season and his 1.5 deflections per 36 minutes final season ranked 211th amongst 272 gamers who performed no less than 1,000 minutes.

He would not appear to be gentle on his toes, a little gradual to change path on the perimeter…

Gabe Vincent 3-pointer vs.  Indiana

He can battle to keep in entrance of actually fast guards or present a lot resistance towards bigs. But Brogdon definitely is not a unhealthy defender. He would not go to sleep or get caught out of place on that finish of the flooring. And over the final three seasons, opponents scored 0.83 factors per possession after they remoted towards him. That ranks sixteenth amongst 269 gamers who’ve defended no less than 200 isolations over these three seasons, in accordance to Second Spectrum monitoring.

He can keep in entrance of the not-so-quick guys:

Cade Cunningham vs.  Malcolm Brogdon

In his most up-to-date recreation towards the Celtics, Brogdon was the main defender on Tatum, switching over to Brown when Tatum went to the bench. He acquired beat back-door by Brown at one level, however he had some moments the place he held his personal:

Malcolm Brogdon defense vs.  Jaylen Brown

Malcolm Brogdon defense vs.  Jaylen Brown

The Celtics, after all, had the league’s No. 1 protection final season. Brogdon should not damage them on that finish of the flooring, particularly if he is principally taking minutes from 6-foot-1 Payton Pritchard. And if he can give the offense a small boost, he’ll definitely be value what the Celtics gave up for him, which wasn’t a lot.

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John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him right here, discover his archive right here and Follow him on Twitter.

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