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Jayson Tatum is the star of the Boston Celtics, but that doesn’t translate into him being the leader of the team. Even at 24 years old, he’s certainly stepping up his leadership role and taking his game to another level. When it comes to Celtics leadership, newcomer Malcolm Brogdon has emerged as the frontrunner in that department.

Malcolm Brogdon does what it takes to win

Malcolm Brogdon of the Boston Celtics slips while dribbling the ball during the second quarter of the game against the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden on November 4, 2022, in Boston, Massachusetts. | Winslow Townson/Getty Images.

The Celtics certainly could have used Brogdon last season. Boston had one of the greatest in-season turnarounds a year ago but fell just short in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. After starting the season 25-25, the Celtics went 26-6 to close out the regular season. They battled their way through a grueling postseason schedule before falling to the Warriors.

The Celtics needed bench help after using an eight-man rotation throughout the postseason. Brad Stevens traded five players and a draft pick to the Indiana Pacers for Brogdon without disrupting their core pieces. He’s filled his role off the bench to perfection.

Brogdon knows he’s a starter in the NBA. He also knows he has a chance at a championship, something he didn’t have during his last three seasons with the Pacers. There’s no ego with the seven-year veteran.

“I believe I’m a starter for any team in this league,” Brogdon recently told Abby Chin of NBC Sports Boston. “But I’m a guy that can adjust and come off the bench if that’s what the team needs. I’m willing to do that and play the role to the best of my ability.”

In eight games this season, Brogdon is averaging 15.0 points and 3.6 assists in 23.8 minutes.

Brogdon showing he’s the leader of the Celtics


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While he doesn’t have the best stats on the team, nor is he the most vocal, Brogdon is emerging as Boston’s leader. He’s everything the Celtics needed.

The 6-foot-6 guard can do everything. He can score, distribute the ball, and play defense. More importantly, he’s willing to sacrifice his individual stats by leading Boston’s second unit off the bench. His leadership was clear after Friday night’s victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Earlier this season, the Celtics blew a huge early lead in an 18-point loss to the Bulls. They bounced back nicely Friday with a 123-119 victory to improve to 5-3. In the win, Brogdon made sure the reserves didn’t let the starters down this time around.

“I’ve been telling them, we gotta be the best second team in the league,” Brogdon said postgame. “We need to embrace that. We are the second team, and we’re going to be the best in the league. We’re going to take full ownership of that.

“I thought it was unacceptable how we came out when we were in Chicago. The first team came out and played great. They played a great first seven, eight minutes. We came out and really laid an egg. I did not want to repeat that, especially against this Chicago team that’s a really good team.”

Brogdon certainly did his part Friday, scoring 25 points in 29 minutes. He shot 90% from the floor (9-for-10) and added four assists.

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