Brandon DiPerno chatted with Justise Winslow in an exclusive Hothothoops interview on life and basketball. The former Duke champion gave his views on Miami Heat Culture, mentors, food scenes, and more.
On the basketball side, Mike Schmitz formerly of DraftExpress and now with ESPN as an Insider, gave his two-year report on Winslow in an article titled, “Which 2015 lottery picks can still become breakout stars?”
“Myles Turner and Devin Booker have turned out to be draft day steals, but elite high school class of 2014 prospects D'Angelo Russell, Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow have had dramatic peaks and valleys during the early stages of their careers.”
Schmitz asks and answers these questions.
“How big of a role has team situation and infrastructure played in the lack of productivity and development of the once-heralded prep stars? Why exactly has each prospect stumbled thus far, and how much optimism should there be moving forward?”
Out of those three prospects, he believes Justise has the most upside going forward.
"But even with his glaring scoring limitations, the Houston native may be the most likely of these 2015 draftees to maximize his potential long term."
"He can grab and go in transition, playmake out of ball screens with an impressive handle, unique wiggle, and excellent vision and check the intangible boxes as a cutter and offensive rebounder."
Lately coach Erik Spoelstra has steered Winslow towards building on his intangible strengths to a future as a budding point guard, although point guards can't be manufactured in 60 days or less. Goran Dragic has been working for over ten years to perfect his craft.
ProBasketball Analysis in 2014 dissected Justise's pros and cons as a facilitator. They point out his natural instincts as a distributor, while overcoming his problems reading defenses quickly needs some work.
Becoming a championship facilitator takes time and reps: there aren't any shortcuts in the process. Justise has the raw tools, now it's a matter of learning to master them by running thousands of plays over and over again in practices.
Winslow had a rough game on Wednesday, with the Heat being outscored by 13 points while he was on the floor, despite contributing 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. As he becomes proficient in reading defenses faster and more accurately, he may provide a great alternative for Dragic during a game.
Goran finishes at the rim better, while Justise is a lock-down defender. Depending on game conditions, Miami could choose between a scoring-first facilitator or defense-first facilitator on the court.
Mike Schmitz believes Winslow has more potential than higher draft picks Russell or Johnson. Can Justise fulfill it? Time will tell as Winslow hones the best of his unique skills to championship levels during the season.