Let's get the first one out of the way, it's spelled, "Justise" and not "Justice." Got that Heat Nation? Dwyane got used to it, I suppose Justise will also.
After selecting him 10th overall, the Miami Heat find a potential gem and future star with their pick. So, we need to get to know him a little bit. After watching nearly 90% of Duke games last year, here's my take on Justise Winslow, what you need to know about him and how he's going to help the Miami Heat.
1. He went to Duke University
This should be a given, but it seems like the Heat like stacking up guys who've been with Coach K. While Shane Battier was the classic Duke guy on the championship teams, Winslow joins Luol Deng and Josh McRoberts on the Heat as former Duke guys. And he might not be the last, with rumors that Carlos Boozer has some interest in joining the party as well. With Winslow going to Duke under Coach K, you know exactly what type of character guy we are getting.
2. He's a winner
He's been that way. From his freshmen season in high school and his senior year in high school, he won state championships in Texas. And obviously, Winslow was a huge part of what Duke did last year in their route to winning the National Championship in Indianapolis. Winslow likes to win, and he's even stated this about himself. There's no other reason to play than to win. We like that.
3. He can handle the ball
Justise routinely handled the ball for the Duke offense. Even with Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones at the point, Winslow had the freedom to push the ball on the break when he got the rebound. He's not a special ball handler by any means, but he is a capable user. Having a forward who can put his head forward and push the ball is a bonus. Luol Deng can't do this with speed, nor any other Heat forward, Winslow can do it with speed and smarts. You'll see it.
4. He can score
Though he only averaged 12.6 PPG, don't be confused - Justise is a scorer. Winslow had 112.1 offensive rating at Duke, and also shot a 57% true shooting percentage. Winslow shot 48% from the field which is a great mark for a perimeter player -- in fact that was a better mark than Dwyane Wade last season. Winslow has all the tools to be able to score in the NBA. He does need to improve his shooting, no doubt. His shot is not a smooth and routine machine, yet.
5. He can drive
This is Winslow's forte. In fact, you'll see by his shot chart why he can score with a 48% FG% it's because he drives to the basket relentlessly. One of the things the Miami Heat missed most last season was the penetration of LeBron James, it led to a lot more jump shots. Winslow, if he stays true to himself, will drive to the basket. If he learns how to pick apart a defense with precise passing and his ability to finish at the rim, he will be very lethal.
6. He has a two-step on par with James Harden
Seriously, have you seen him? Winslow has a two-step, euro-step, crossover, whatever...he has it. He has that body control movement where he can make you miss and give himself the perfect lane. It's awesome to watch, and nearly impossible to defend. He's also getting very good at what James Harden has perfected -- throwing your body into the defender to force the action, giving himself the advantage or causing a foul. He's an extremely aggressive offensive player and it will pay off for the Miami Heat.
7. He prides himself on defense
This is important to the Heat and Pat Riley, and it's great that it's important to him. It's how he talks, he wants to defend and make a difference on both ends of the court. And as you can see, Winslow is a pretty elite shot blocker for someone his size. He has the basketball IQ to know when to go for it. But even beyond that, he can lock someone down. He averaged 1.3 steals per game last year.
8. He can play multiple positions
This is ever important in how the NBA is evolving and how Erik Spoelstra wants to manage his team. Winslow is capable of playing the 2-3-4 positions in the NBA. And he could probably defend the 1 in a few seasons when he gets a little better. Justise will likely stick to the 2-3 for the Heat, but he is versatile and we should appreciate that.
9. He's NBA ready
Pat Riley called him mature and ready to contribute and that's true. He's going to be a valuable piece off the bench for his rookie season. But his body is more than NBA ready, and could turn into something freakish...look at him at 19, and tell me a few years with Alonzo Mourning won't mold him into a freak of nature.
10. He could be the face of the franchise very soon
You heard it. Not Dragic, not Whiteside, and when Wade is gone, Winslow will be here and ready to lead. I'm not talking this season or next. But once he's developed into a polished player, Winslow has all the potential to turn into the next player to lead the Miami Heat in scoring. So get ready Heat fans, this is just the beginning.