Malcolm Brogdon will miss his fourth straight game Wednesday night when the Boston Celtics visit the Atlanta Hawks due to right hamstring tightness.
It doesn’t appear to be a serious injury and nearly a week ago Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla said the veteran guard would “be back sooner rather than later.” Despite that optimism, Brogdon remains sidelined as his absence becomes longer than originally expected.
But Brogdon gave some insight prior to the matchup against the Hawks as to why he hasn’t returned to game action just yet. It seems he could push through to return but instead is looking more at the long term and taking a cautious approach.
“This is about the team and about longevity,” Brogdon told The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.
Given Brogdon’s track record with injuries and Boston’s success with him out of the lineup, there really isn’t a need at the moment for the 29-year-old to rush back. Brogdon played in just 36 games with the Indiana Pacers last season as a slew of injuries have limited his playing time over his seven-year career.
It’s more important for Brogdon to be at full health come the spring when the Celtics will really need him to make a return trip to the NBA Finals instead of playing at less than 100% during these early-season contests they have shown they can win without him.
Brogdon has been a bench catalyst so far in his first season with the Celtics, averaging 13.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists. In Brogdon’s absence, Payton Pritchard has received more consistent playing time and has flourished to showcase Boston’s terrific depth.
Brogdon being out compounds an issue for the Celtics when they take on the Hawks as Marcus Smart has also been ruled out for the game due to right ankle inflammation. With the team’s top two point guards out, it will put a strain on Boston’s backcourt with the Hawks heavily reliant on guards Trae Young and Dejounte Murray.
The two sides tip off from State Farm Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET.