Milwaukee’s New Hero: Malcolm Brogdon Proving Why He’s the “Steal of the Draft”

Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images – Via.

Milwaukee’s New Hero: Malcolm Brogdon Proving Why He’s the “Steal of the Draft”

Halfway through the 2016-17 season, Joel Embiid has accomplished all-star numbers for the Philadelphia 76ers and is the current favorite for Rookie of the Year.

Nipping at his heels, and coming in at No. 2 on the NBA’s weekly Rookie of the Year ladder is Milwaukee Bucks rookie point guard Malcolm Brogdon, who has turned heads with his recent play. Brogdon’s first major catapult into social media stardom was when he dunked on Cleveland Cavaliers superstars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on separate occasions in the same game. Thirty games into the season, Bucks head coach Jason Kidd decided to give the 24-year-old rookie a crack at the starting lineup in place of injured guard Matthew Dellavedova. It may have been the best decision of his entire coaching career.

Brogdon—former 2015-16 Virginia ACC Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year—is taking Milwaukee’s starting point guard role by storm and is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Orchestrating the offense, stuffing-the-stat-sheet, and working alongside Bucks soon-to-be all-star Giannis Antetokounmpo makes the team that much more dangerous. Heading into the 2016-17 season, he would have never thought he’d be receiving the notoriety of a top-10 draft pick—Brogdon was drafted 36th overall in the 2016 draft.

Malcolm Brogdon’s rookie numbers in 2016-17 are extremely impressive. He leads all rookies in assists per game with 3.9 and is third in points per game (9.2) as well as steals (0.9). His shooting numbers have been very efficient, too. 42.5% from downtown and 89.5% from the free-throw line leads rookies, and 45.5% shooting from the field ranks fourth. He has accomplished these numbers playing 24.3 minutes per game in 38 total contests.

Brogdon is currently considered “the steal of the draft” by fans and basketball analysts, and solidified that statement in his second career start. Playing with newfound swagger and confidence, he recorded 15 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds—his first career triple-double in Milwaukee’s 116-96 blowout victory over Chicago. Brogdon became the first rookie in 2016-17 to record a triple-double, and became the first rookie to do so in his second start since Elfrid Payton.

“We’re holding him back; blame it on the coach,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said with a smile after Brogdon’s career night. “He’s a special person. For him to be asked to start and run the team with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and Jabari [Parker], he has handled everything we’ve thrown at him. He was great tonight.”

Malcolm Brogdon’s triple-double performance was the first of great games as a starter for the Milwaukee Bucks. In eight starts this season, Brogdon is averaging 14.0 points, 6.3 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game—numbers that general managers look at and say to themselves… “wow, maybe we should start scouting players deeper into the second-round of the draft.” In that span, he is shooting 45.5% from the field and 39.1% from deep.

Milwaukee Bucks head coach, and former NBA legend Jason Kidd appreciates Brogdon’s work ethic and desire to become great.

“You talk about someone who wants to be good,” Kidd said. “He works at his craft. You look at his basketball IQ. We trust him as a rookie offensive and defensively. He’s taken the challenge to play at a high level and we’re holding him accountable to that.”

Ladies and gentleman, the Milwaukee Bucks have found their new point guard. Take a seat or pack your bags back to Cleveland Matthew Dellavedova, there’s a new sheriff in town and, he’s not looking back.

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