Malcolm Brogdon (right forearm) ruled OUT of Game 6 in Miami
After Boston’s Game 4 win, Brogdon’s MRI revealed that he actually has a torn tendon between his elbow and his wrist that’s causing pain in his forearm. Brogdon has not been playing well understandably, and he was only able to suit up briefly in the first half of Game 5, missing both shots that he took.
This is very unfortunate as this year’s Sixth Man of the League is able to provide microwave scoring and table-setting offense when he’s healthy. Brogdon was also one of the league’s leaders in three-point shooting, so losing that, on paper, is a big blow. In reality, though, Brogdon has been underperforming because of the injury, so if he can’t go out there and play to his own standards, recovering and sitting out the game is best for the team and his long-term health.
Based on what’s transpired this series, it’s easy to predict that if Joe Mazzulla even opts to replace Brogdon’s place in the rotation, the minutes will likely go to Payton Pritchard. Pritchard has had an up-and-down season due to a lack of opportunity, but he got the surprise nod in a few minutes in Game 1. Those minutes did not go particularly well, especially because the Heat targeted Pritchard relentlessly to get him switched onto Jimmy Butler.
What would be super interesting is if Mazzulla throws a curveball and gives Sam Hauser minutes. It’s still puzzling to this point why Hauser hasn’t been given an opportunity despite being in the rotation for most of the year. He’s not a lockdown defender by any means, but he can hold his own defensively. Offensively, he’s the exact type of player who could force Miami to play less zone minutes. If Mazzulla wants to throw Erik Spoelstra for a loop and do something he literally is not expected to do, Hauser minutes would be the way to go.
The Celtics take on the Heat shortly in Miami at 8:30 p.m. ET on TNT. The Celtics trail 3-2 and need a big effort defensively to win tonight and force a Game 7, which would put them on the path to potentially be the first NBA team (0-150) to come back from an 0-3 deficit. When put in those terms, tonight’s a pretty big game.