Through the opening of the Milwaukee Bucks’ training camp for the upcoming 2018-19 season, Malcolm Brogdon has reportedly joined the team’s starting group, leading to speculation that he could start at the 2-guard spot for the season.
With this year’s training camp finally getting underway this week for the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s only natural for fans and followers around the league to hinge on the early observations being reported from the opening handful of practices.
After all, with both the arrival of new head coach Mike Budenholzer as well as the few personnel changes the team made during the offseason, the Bucks are coming into this critical 2018-19 season with a bit of a clean state as opposed to previous years.
While all Bucks fans have poured through the various principles and philosophies as well as the track record Coach Bud and his staff implemented and experienced during his previous stop with the Atlanta Hawks, how all of that gets integrated with the foundation the Bucks currently have is an open ended question at the moment.
The same obviously rings true for who will make up the team’s starting five heading into the team’s slate of preseason games before the start of the coming regular season.
On that last point, we may have an initial sense of who Coach Bud favors as the Bucks’ starting group, specifically in the team’s backcourt, thanks to some early practice reports.
Arguably the biggest point of speculation throughout the summer and heading into training camp regarding the Bucks’ starting spots has revolved around the 2-guard position.
In both Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell, who both saw the bulk of starting opportunities throughout last season, the Bucks have quality options who offer different capabilities as it relates to the starting 2-spot, even if Brogdon may be the more complete talent overall.
As Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relayed following Thursday’s practice sessions, it’s been Brogdon who has been getting the early nod with the Bucks’ starting unit under Budenholzer:
“Through three days of training camp, Brogdon says he’s often been in a starting group alongside Bledsoe as the team’s two-guard. As a combo guard with skills tailored to both backcourt positions, Brogdon’s been put in situations where he’s running point or playing on the wing, which are both spots he could find himself in different lineups during the season.”
It’s certainly interesting to see Budenholzer roll with that pairing at the outset in the season to come and as noted above, Brogdon logged a good amount of minutes playing alongside the core three superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe following Bledsoe’s arrival in early November last season.
In the 329 minutes Brogdon shared with those three, the Bucks posted an offensive rating of 111.9, a defensive rating of 104.5, which rounded out at a net rating of 7.4, per NBA.com/stats.
As a refresher, Brogdon got a string of starts through mid-January before his injury-related layoff during the latter half of the regular season and finished as the Bucks’ starting 2-guard for the final five games of the team’s first round series against the Boston Celtics during last season’s playoffs.
Brogdon’s versatile capabilities on both ends of the floor certainly fall in line with the “handle, pass, shoot” maxim the Bucks’ front office and Coach Bud have preached in the early going of the latter’s reign in Milwaukee. And as Brogdon spoke to in the aforementioned piece by Velazquez, Brogdon’s skill set has certainly been put to good use under Budenholzer and next to Bledsoe.
All of that isn’t a disservice to Snell as his “3-and-D” nature certainly has a place on this Bucks team, but it may take some time for the 27-year-old to rebuild his confidence following his rough end to the season last year.
With this only being the beginning of the Bucks’ training camp, there will certainly be plenty of developments across all spectrums of the team’s roster in the days and weeks to come.