Milwaukee Bucks: Malcolm Brogdon wants none of your sophomore slump

MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 22: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 22: (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Coming off a career-high in points against the Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon has shown improvement beyond his Rookie of the Year campaign. While the point total is surprising, the efficiency is not.

The second round of the 2016 NBA Draft turned out to be an enormous success for the Milwaukee Bucks, as they nailed the selection of Malcolm Brogdon with the 36th pick.

Despite being mostly an afterthought compared to the controversial first round selection of Thon Maker, Brogdon figured to get his chance at NBA minutes early due to his immense college experience.

His skill-set translated immediately, as he became a regular part of Milwaukee’s rotation and ultimately earned Rookie of the Year honors at the end of the season.

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Brogdon’s rookie season success was a large byproduct of him knocking down open threes, and some unexpected throwdowns on high-profile NBA stars.

This season, Brogdon has continued with more of the same, but with an even more pronounced rim attack. With a little bit over half the season played, Brogdon is a bigger part of Milwaukee’s offense. He’s shooting a bit more this season, and Milwaukee is drawing up more actions to get the former Virginia Cavalier a path to the rim.

His ability to finish inside has been impressive. Brogdon doesn’t jump out of the arena with athleticism, yet he has enough speed to get by defenders and possesses the ability to create space to lay it in.

So far this season, Brogdon is converting an impressive 62 percent of shot attempts taken within the restricted area. These account for around 40 percent of all of his shot attempts, so he’s working with a pretty balanced offensive game.

Here’s a good example against Washington a few games back:

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Brogdon is able to get a step on Bradley Beal thanks to the John Henson screen. Lulls both Beal and Marcin Gortat to sleep working his way beneath the hoop. Brogdon makes the quick reverse layup, finishing with his left. In case you’re wondering, Brogdon is currently 14-of-18 on that driving reverse layup on the season. It’s a thing.

Two more plays from the game against Phoenix on Monday Night:

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Milwaukee is able to clear out for Brogdon to attack his man. Brogdon has just enough speed to get the edge on Devin Booker here and has the touch with either hand to convert. Here, he drives right, and finishes with his right. The following possession, he drives left and finishes left.

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And while the Atlanta native’s three-point shooting has dropped a little from his rookie season, he’s still shooting tremendously on his corner three attempts (46 percent from both corners.) Brogdon has clearly been one of the steals of that draft, and has vastly outperformed his draft-mate, Maker.

Milwaukee has been in the rumor mill very frequently of late regarding trades. Rumors that the Bucks are pursuing DeAndre Jordan continue to surface, and the Bucks have also been reported as having engaged in talks with Charlotte for Kemba Walker.

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Many speculate that Brogdon would be a requested piece in most trade talks, and when you watch hm play, it’s not hard to understand why.