For rust to form on metal, it must be exposed to oxygen and water over a period of time. The answer to what it would take for rust to form on Malcolm Brogdon remains unclear.
By the time Malcolm Brogdon stepped back on the court for the Milwaukee Bucks on May 8th, he’d missed nearly two months of basketball. He played 64 regular season games for the Bucks before suffering a plantar fasciatis tear in his right foot, putting an abrupt pause on a career year. Brogdon was averaging highs in points (15.6), rebounds (4.5) and field goal percentage (50%), including a scorching 42.6 percent from beyond the arc, and was a key cog alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton as the Bucks set their sights on an NBA Finals run.
When an athlete misses such an extended period of time, it’s impossible to simulate the game speed they’ll experience upon their return no matter how many 5-on-5s you run with them in practice. It took Joel Embiid nearly the duration of the Philadelphia 76ers playoffs run to work himself back into game shape following lingering knee tendinitis that caused him to miss 14 games in the second half of the season, and even then the big man still struggled with his conditioning. Brogdon returned for Game 5 of the Bucks Eastern Conference semifinals matchup with the Boston Celtics on a minutes restriction, and played much of it in garbage time. He played 17 minutes and scored a quiet 10 points, but was able to parachute in to a low pressure environment as the Bucks blew out the Celtics by nearly 30 points to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.