Boston Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon wasted no time crediting the secondary unit in helping the team bounce back into the win column on Friday, defeating the Chicago Bulls 123-119 at TD Garden.
Brogdon, who served as one of the key Celtics contributors in the win, scored 25 points on 9-of-10 shooting off the bench to go along with four assists, two rebounds and a block. As the 29-year-old veteran finished as Boston’s second-leading scorer, Brogdon tipped his cap to the improvement displayed by the Celtics’ second unit. However, he also acknowledged the importance of continuing to contribute in a similar fashion in upcoming matchups to support the starting unit.
“I’ve been telling them, ‘We gotta be the best second team in the league, we gotta embrace that,’” Brogdon said, per NBC Sports Boston video. “We are the second team, we are gonna be the best in the league. And we’re gonna 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. Played a great first seven, eight minutes. And we came out and really laid an egg. So, I did not wanna repeat that, especially against this Chicago team.”
Brogdon added: “I want us to be prepared and learn how to beat this team, and beat good teams down the stretch. Especially coming in and just being ready. And adding on to what the first team’s doing.”
The Celtics’ second unit, which only combined to score 31 points amongst eight different players during an 18-point loss to the Bulls on Oct. 24, did show some notable improvement. While Brogdon led the way, forward Sam Hauser (8 points) knocked down a pair of 3-pointers en route to a 41-point contribution from Boston’s bench.
With the Celtics now 5-3 following the win, Boston will next face off against the New York Knicks to begin a two-game road trip. Tipoff from Madison Square Garden on Saturday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.