Justise Winslow: A Work in Progress

People should see Miami Heat rookie, Justise Winslow, for what he truly is, A STEAL! Justise Winslow was a defensive powerhouse in college. His offense consisted of attacking the rim, finishing through traffic and often drawing the foul. However, his ability to shoot from the arc leaves a lot to be desired. Nonetheless, his combined defensive prowess, ability to draw the foul, and physique would intrigue any NBA team trying to prep a young star into being the face of the organization.  After watching his NBA debut, Winslow doc’d 9 points, 2 steals, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds.  Pretty decent numbers for his first NBA showing.  One thing that we have to keep in mind is that HE IS A PRODUCT FOR THE FUTURE!  He’s not going to take over a game immediately like some of his classmates such as Karl Anthony-Towns or Emmanuel Mudiay.  However, he will contribute as a valuable member off the bench for now.  A safe prediction for his production off the bench this year would consist of 7.9 points per game, 3.5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.  Once he’s groomed by NBA veterans and trainers he will be the next franchise player.

During the March Madness Tournament, it was obvious that Winslow was a key component in Duke’s title run.  He nearly averaged a double-double in points and rebounds.  He was also dominating the defensive floor with about 2 steals and blocks per game.  These numbers do resemble one of the NBA’s finest out of Marquette.  In his collegiate career, Dwyane Wade averaged 20 points and dished out 7 assists per show.  Juxtaposed, Winslow’s offensive progression is a few steps slower than Wade’s coming out of college, but his defense is impeccable and definitely NBA ready.  They both share an ability to drive the lane and draw the foul.  Miami Fans should just hope that Justises’ knees don’t suffer the same fate that his predecessor underwent.

Understand this, THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER DWYANE WADE!  Even with the plethora of young up and coming athletic guards in the league today.  None of them will ever compare to the prowess of the “Flash”.  In Wade’s rookie season he averaged around 17 points and 7 assists per game.  I don’t think we’ll see offensive numbers like that for 19-year-old Winslow.  Winslow is a developmental process.  His rookie year will consist of learning from veterans and working on specifically his offensive skills.  Wade came out the gate firing.  Similarly to Winslow, most of his points came from inside the paint.  What separates the two is that Wade was able to create his own shot.  Now this will come to Winslow in due time.  Part of a lottery pick’s job is to prepare to pick up the reigns of the organization and become a leader down the road.

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Another variable one has to factor in is physicality.  Justise Winslow is an aggressive tank at 6’6 and 225 lbs.  Wade isn’t that far off being 6’4 and 212 lbs.  Wade was always been acrobatic and able to fly past defenders.  Winslow takes the opposite approach and runs right through the contact.

Miami isn’t going to have a lottery pick like Winslow for a while.  As fans, all we can hope is for the quick development of young Justise Winslow.  It’ll be interesting to see how this experiment pans out.  Pat Riley is not one known for trusting in the development of young players.  He just tends to steal free agents.  Miami will without a doubt make the post season.  Let’s just hope there is no mid-season surprises like Chris Bosh’s blood clot incident down the road.  One thing is for sure though Winslow will be a force to be reckoned with in the near coming future.

Young Wade:

Justise Winslow: