BOSTON -- Misery loves company, right?
The Boston Celtics won’t be alone in their second-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks when it comes to beginning it without one of their top guards.
Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon, sidelined with torn plantar fascia injury suffered last month, has been ruled out for Games 1 and 2 of the Bucks’ Conference semi-final matchup against the Celtics.
Even without Brogdon, the Bucks (60-22) still managed to finish the regular season with the best record in the NBA and with that, home court advantage as long as they are in the playoffs.
As expected, the Bucks cruised through their first-round series with Detroit which ended with a four-game sweep of the Pistons.
However, Milwaukee is eager to get Brogdon back on the floor against the Celtics in large part because of his ability to excel at both ends of the floor.
Having him available provides the Bucks with another defensive body that can make Kyrie Irving work harder for his shots than he would otherwise.
In addition, Brogdon has the ability on offense to impact the game on multiple levels and has been a tough cover for the Celtics in past years.
The 2017 NBA Rookie Of the Year averaged a career-high 15.6 points this past season.
But just as significant, he became only the eighth player in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field (50.5 percent), 40 percent on 3’s (42.6 percent) and 90 percent (92.8) from the free throw line.
The Bucks have indicated that he will be evaluated again prior to Game 3.
The outlook isn’t nearly as optimistic for one of Boston’s top guards, Marcus Smart, who will also be out for the start of the Conference Semifinals.
Unlike Brogdon, Smart (torn oblique) is considered a long shot to return to action during this series and if he did, it likely wouldn’t be until Game 6 or 7 and that would be an extremely optimistic/hopeful timeline.
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