Boston Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon has not looked like himself in the Eastern Conference Finals versus the Miami Heat and new details have surfaced as to why the 2022-23 NBA Sixth Man of the Year has been struggling ahead of Game 5 of this series on Thursday night.
According to The Athletic's Jared Weiss, Brogdon has been playing through a partially torn tendon coming out of his right elbow that leads into his forearm, an injury that occurred in Game 1 of this series against Miami while boxing out Heat big man Kevin Love.
Brogdon had been dealing with golfer’s elbow soreness in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Weiss, and an MRI after Game 1 against the Heat confirmed that his injury had worsened.
After a stellar season coming off the bench in Boston, Brogdon has struggled since the first game against Miami and his minutes have declined drastically. After scoring 19 points in 37 total minutes in their Game 1 loss to the Heat, Brogdon has logged just 61 total minutes the last three games, averaging 5.0 points per game on 5-20 (25.0 percent) shooting. The Celtics' sixth man has failed to record more than 18 minutes in either of the last two games.
The team's second-best scoring option during the regular season, Brogdon being injured definitely creates a cause for concern for the Celtics, who already have their backs up against the wall. Winning Game 4 was vital in order to extend their season, but Boston will now have to try and force a Game 6 back in Miami with a win on Thursday night. Without Brogdon being fully healthy, a lot more pressure is put on All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to shovel the load offensively against a very strong defensive-minded Heat team.
The good news for the Celtics though is that Brogdon has been doing everything he can to try and play through this injury and he is not listed on the team's injury report ahead of Game 5. He is expected to continue playing, but whether or not he can be productive and be more than a decoy on the floor is unknown.