Want to see Malcolm Brogdon dominate crunch time? Watch that old game against the Celtics

Malcolm Brogdon watched the NBA Finals and saw the Celtics struggle to mount an offense against the Warriors’ increased defensive intensity. He thinks he can help.

“If I came over there, I could give them a stable presence and a composure as a ball handler and facilitator, getting guys like (Jaylen) Brown and (Jayson) Tatum easy shots,” he said. he told The Athletic. “Just slowing down the game in times when we need a good shot.”

If the Celtics want to see examples of Brogdon bringing composure to critical time, they don’t have far to look. They just have to dig into their own archives.

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Take, for example, a 122-117 loss to the Pacers in December 2019. Celtics fans may remember that game as Kemba Walker’s first 40-point outburst in green. Walker went for 44, but the Celtics lost a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Brogdon was leading the charge, especially in the final minutes. He’s scored or assisted on 18 of Indiana’s last 20 points, the only exception being a perfect pass from a double team that didn’t score an assist for Domantas Sabonis, but easily could have.

He made all 15 free throws, including six in the final 17 seconds to seal the win. Taking a quick look at some of his crucial plays highlights exactly the skills Brogdon thinks he will bring to Boston.

Let’s start with the green light basket. Brogdon ignores a Sabonis pick to pass Walker, forcing help from Jayson Tatum. Brogdon draws in the defender and kicks Aaron Holiday for corner 3, with Walker a slow step to turn. Needless to say, Walker had his limits and the Celtics weren’t playing intensity defense in the playoffs, but Brogdon drove and kicked decisively to create the opportunity.

Speaking of decisive, he wastes no time attacking Brown early in the shot clock after the Celtics tied the game at 107. One of the frustrations of the Finals was seeing the Celtics burn 12 seconds just to enter their attack. However, Brogdon crosses the half court in attack mode, and with Walker and Daniel Theis providing nominal rim protection, scores in traffic. Notice how his size allows him to ignore contact. His physique matches the identity of the Celtics.

Shortly after, another drive and kick in the corner, this one to Justin Holiday. Paired with the sturdier Semi Ojeleye, Brogdon beats him from the dribble and then exploits slow rotations, Walker unnecessarily leaving Holiday in the corner and Brad Wanamaker getting caught in no man’s land.

Finally, there’s the game that should feel most familiar to Celtics fans, since their inability to handle it essentially decided the Finals. Punished by Brogdon’s impact in the final four minutes – he saved 12 of his 29 points for critical time, all but two from the free throw line – the Celtics hit him with a trap before he can go down. Brogdon calmly moves away from Walker and Daniel Theis to deliver a bouncing pass to Sabonis, who attacks Wanamaker in the lag before scoring in the paint.

In just over four minutes of a two-point game, Brogdon will score 12 points, assist six more, and beat the two-team lead to Indiana’s last field goal. He’ll make all six of his free throws in the final 17 seconds, a performance worthy of a career shooter at 88% from the boards, which should help resolve another area of ​​playoff inconsistency.

It’s called calm, and even accepting that December in Indiana doesn’t have the same intensity as Golden State in June, the Celtics at least already know how Brogdon can impact game-changing moments. ‘a match.

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