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Report: Malcolm Brogdon is expected to play in Game 7 vs Heat tonight

The 2023 Sixth Man of the Year is eyeing a return as the Celtics host the Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

After being downgraded from questionable to out for Game 6 on Saturday night, Boston Celtics guard is expected to suit up for tonight’s Game 7 against the Miami Heat at TD Garden, per Marc Spears of Andscape. Brogdon had played in Game 5 at TD Garden, but after less than 10 minutes of floor time, he was pulled from the game and listed doubtful to return that night.

Throughout the season, the Celtics have been carefully navigating some of their minutes workloads, specifically that of Al Horford, Robert Williams and Malcolm Brogdon. The ultimate goal was to keep them as fresh as possible for the playoffs, and for the most part the strategy worked up until now.

Initially dealing with what was described as “golfer’s elbow," Brogdon aggravated his injury even further in Game 1 of the Conference Finals while boxing out Kevin Love. What was just soreness became a much more serious injury, as he was diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his forearm that caused pain and swelling all the way up to his wrist.

At first, Brogdon was wearing a shooting sleeve and playing through the pain, but his numbers suffered greatly. Since his injury in Game 1, Brogdon has scored a total of 15 points on 5-of-22 shooting, including 1-of-12 from beyond the arc. He changed up his warmups routine to avoid putting any extra strain on it, but the Celtics made the wise decision to hold Brogdon out for Game 6.

“It was huge for us,” said Marcus Smart at shootaround today on Brogdon’s absence in Game 6, “Malcolm has been great for us all year, he does a lot of great things for us that we need. So to have him absent is tough for us. But he’s still on the bench, he’s still talking and coaching us up, things that he sees. So although he wasn’t out there, his presence even not being on the court was big for us. We just have to continue to step up for him. That means that everybody else has to step up a little bit more, and we tried to do that, but obviously not having Malcolm was big for us.”

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year has been a massive addition for the Celtics, and was one of the team’s best perimeter shooters throughout the season. After the news on the severity of his injury became public, his shooting struggles in the series against Miami made a lot more sense. It’ll be hard to tell how involved Brogdon will be involved in terms of shooting, but the practice footage circulating today provides some hope.

After being seen at practice without his shooting sleeve and knocking down shots, it seems that resting Brogdon for Game 6 did the trick for the time being to get him back on the floor for the Celtics. With the team aiming to complete one of the most miraculous comebacks in NBA history, they’ll need all hands on deck tonight as the Miami Heat come to town.

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