Though a combo guard, Brogdon has primarily played shooting guard this season. Tim Frazier is a point guard. So, this isn’t a clear replacement.
Frazier, who spent training camp with Milwaukee, is a decent backup point guard. He’ll provide depth behind Eric Bledsoe and George Hill – depth missing without Brogdon. But Brogdon was merely insurance at point guard. His main role was off the ball.
Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.
1) Giannis Antetokounmpo looks like MVP, 76ers get the win and look like playoff force. Here’s the one big takeaway from Philadelphia going into Milwaukee and getting a 130-125 victory:
Good lord the East playoffs are going to be fun.
Sunday, against a long and athletic defensive team that put Joel Embiid on him for much of the game, Giannis Antetokounmpo looked like an MVP (especially late). He was too overpowering and too athletic to stop on his way to 52 points and shooting 12-of-18 in the paint (and 3-of-8 from three). The Greek Freak looked every bit the MVP (but after the game did praise Embiid’s defense).
That wasn’t enough to get the win. In part because Bucks who don’t have 13 letters in their last name didn’t step up in the ways needed and shot just 31 percent from three (how much the Bucks will miss Malcolm Brogdon was evident in this game). In part because the Sixers powerful starting five could hang with the Antetokounmpo-led Bucks starters despite the 52 because they moved the ball, sacrificed, and played a team game.
Also in part because Joel Embiid impressed with 40 points and 15 boards himself.
But mostly it was how Brett Brown found rotations where a couple starters with some bench players could work. The fivesome of Tobias Harris, Jimmy Butler, Mike Scott, T.J. McConnell, and Boban Marjanovic were +12 in just under 11 minutes. Finding bench lineups and rotations that work will be critical for Philly over the remaining dozen games, but if it comes together like it did Sunday the Sixers could be making a deep playoff run. Like into June.
2) We live in a universe where Mario Hezonja blocks a LeBron James game-winning attempt. It was set up to be another moment where a non-Knicks superstar steps up in the clutch and puts on a show in Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks were up by one with 22.3 seconds left, the Lakers inbounded the ball to LeBron James, who already had 33 points on the night. The King isolated on Mario Hezonja, drove the lane and… denied.
Hezonja’s defense for the win. (There’s a sentence I never expected to type.)
The Knicks — the worst team in the NBA this season (by record) — finished the game on a 13-1 run to beat the Lakers. What does that say about Los Angeles at this point of the season?
3) Lou Williams just gets buckets, hits game-winner for Clippers over Nets. In the battle of two League Pass favorites, two of the league’s most scrappy teams in the Nets and Clippers, Lou Williams stepped up and made the “this is why I’m Sixth Man of the Year” play.
Tied 116-116 with 5.3 seconds left, Doc Rivers kept it simple: inbound to Danilo Gallinari, have him pass then set a screen for Williams. It didn’t create much space, but it created enough.
The Clippers and Nets most likely will not make it out of the first round of the playoffs in their respective conferences, but whoever gets these teams is going to have a first-round battle on their hands. These teams will make it tough.
BONUS THING TO KNOW:C.J. McCollum out with strained muscle but it could have been much worse. If the Trail Blazers do not have C.J. McCollum for the playoffs their stay in the postseason is guaranteed to be short.
McCollum will miss most if not all of the remaining regular season games and Portland could slide down the standings in the tight West because of it. But he may be back for the playoffs, and with him Portland will have a chance. His recovery will be something to watch.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has career-high 52 but Joel Embiid gets last laugh (VIDEO)
MILWAUKEE (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 52 points, but Joel Embiid had 40 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers over the Milwaukee Bucks 130-125 on Sunday.
Antetokounmpo was 15 of 26 from the field, including 3 of 8 from 3-point range, and made 19 of 21 free throws to better his previous career best by eight points.
Embiid and the Sixers weathered a late charge by Milwaukee to beat the team with the best overall record in the NBA (52-18) and the top home record (27-6). It was the fifth time this season Embiid scored 40 or more points and came in his fourth game back after missing nine straight with left knee soreness.
Mike Scott hit a wide-open 3 to give the Sixers a 98-86 lead early in the fourth and force the Bucks to burn a timeout.
Scott also provided a fun highlight – late in the first quarter, he made a dive into the stands trying to save a loose ball. He landed in the second row, surprised a fan by taking a quick sip of her drink, and ran back on defense as play continued.
76ers: Philadelphia moved to a season-high 20 games over .500
Bucks: Nikola Mirotic started for Malcolm Brogdon, who is out with a minor plantar fascia tear in his right foot. Brogdon had started 64 of 69 games and is out indefinitely. . Recalled F Christian Wood from the Wisconsin Herd.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
There was a pregame moment of silence for the victims and survivors of the New Zealand mosque attacks.
Injuries are going to play a role in the Eastern Conference playoffs, with little margin between Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Boston (sorry Indiana, but the injury to Victor Oladipo leaves it a step back of these teams in the postseason).
Which is why this is such a blow.
Bucks starting two guard Malcolm Brogdon has a minor plantar fascia tear in his right foot, and while the team will not put a timeline on it he reportedly will be out 6-8 weeks. That would have him missing at least the first round of the playoffs, and probably more.
Malcolm Brogdon underwent an MRI and subsequent examination today that revealed a minor plantar fascia tear in his right foot.
The Bucks are banged up at the guard spot, although on the bright side George Hill returned from injury yesterday.
While Malcolm Brogdon is out for the foreseeable future, the Bucks will remain without Sterling Brown (right wrist soreness) tomorrow vs Philadelphia. Pat Connaughton is probable with a right ankle sprain and Donte DiVincenzo is questionable with heel bursitis.
Brogdon plays a key role in the Bucks success, scoring an efficient 15.6 points per game, taking almost all his shots either from three or in the paint. He is simply a smart player who can create for himself or others and is a solid defender. There’s a drop off for the Bucks with him out of the lineup.
Milwaukee will still finish with the best record in the NBA and can win a first-round series without Brogdon, but the Bucks will need him in the second round and beyond if they are going to make the kind of run they expect.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scores 30 points as Bucks beat Celtics 98-97
MILWAUKEE (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 12 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, Khris Middleton hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds and the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks held off the Boston Celtics 98-97 on Thursday night.
On the second-to-last position, Marcus Smart forced a jump ball with Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo tipped the jump to Brook Lopez, who deflected it toward the basket, but missed as the shot clock expired.
The referees huddled during the timeout and put 3.5 seconds on the clock for the Celtics.
Smart inbounded the ball over the towering Lopez and dropped a pass into Kyrie Irving‘s hands at the top of the key. With Eric Bledsoe draped all over him, Irving drove the lane, seemed to stumble and missed an awkward shot as time expired. The Bucks won the season series 2-1, their first over the Celtics since 2014-15.
For Antetokounmpo and Irving, who had 10 of his 22 points in the fourth, it was a rematch since squaring off Sunday at the All-Star Game. Antetokounmpo captained Team Giannis, while Irving started for Team LeBron.
Irving, who has battled a variety of injuries this season, used the All-Star Game to get ready for his return to action. He had missed the two previous games with a strained right knee and 11 overall.
Antetokounmpo added 13 rebounds, Middleton had 15 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, and Malcolm Brogdon had 15 points for the Bucks. They have won 15 of the last 17 games, including nine of the last 10, to improve to 44-14.
Horford added 21 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for Boston, and Jayson Tatum had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Celtics: F Gordon Hayward did not play after spraining his right ankle during a workout on Tuesday. … F/C Aron Baynes (left foot contusion) is sitting out the three-game trip.
Bucks: Mirotic made his Bucks’ debut at forward with three minutes left in the first quarter. He missed his first four games with a calf injury. … G Donte DiVincenzo (bilateral heel bursitis) did not play.