The Boston Celtics will be missing a key piece to their regular rotation for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat on Saturday night.
Malcolm Brogdon, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, won’t suit up for the Celtics due to a forearm strain he sustained in Game 1 of the series. Earlier this week, the Athletic reported Brogdon suffered a partial tear in the tendon from his right elbow to forearm.
The injury has severely impacted Brogdon on the floor. He played just eight minutes in Game 5 and sat out the entire second half. In the previous two games prior to that, Brogdon played his then-lowest minute totals of the postseason. He has missed 12 of his last 13 shots and after shooting a blistering 44.4% from beyond the arc in the regular season, Brogdon is connecting on just 18.7% of his 3-point attempts in the conference finals.
Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters prior to the pivotal contest that Brogdon would do his usual shooting during the pregame warmup, but it’s clear the seventh-year pro decided he couldn’t give it a go like he was doing.
With Brogdon out, Mazzulla could elect to give minutes to backup guard Payton Pritchard or even Sam Hauser. Pritchard got some time on the floor during Game 5 while Hauser hasn’t played any meaningful minutes yet in the series.
Brogdon wasn’t the only game-time decision as Heat guard Gabe Vincent also had to go through his pregame routine before determining his availability. Earlier in the day, it was reported that Vincent was likely to play after sitting out Game 5 with an ankle sprain. Vincent has been immense for Miami in the series, averaging 17.5 points per game and shooting 50% from downtown.
The Celtics will look to stave off elimination once again in Game 6 with tip off from Kaseya Center scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET. Boston is 4-0 in elimination games this postseason.