The legendary Bill Russell knew he couldn't score from the top of the key, so he heeded his own advice and did what he did best: dunk and defend. In this interview he explains why NBA players take years to understand their own unique skill set.
“The most important thing a player needs to learn is how to play within himself, and to know what he's capable of, and what he's not capable of. And to take what he's capable of, and make that his game.”
“I can't shot, you're right. But I can dunk.”
This summer the Miami Heat face the choice of a quick fix, or adapting a slower development path. Gordon Hayward gives the team instant credibility at a steep price.
Last season the Heat played with a $24 million salary handicap and promising players on the sidelines. Having Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson healthy for a full season could be a difference maker this time around. The outcome hinges on how much faith the organization places on them reaching the level Hayward has already achieved.
What is Winslow capable of, and not capable of? Still only 21 years-old, he displays a promising ability to run the floor and score around the basket with either hand. At his most effective self, he switches the ball between hands in mid-air to evade the defender and make the basket. Winslow's strength isn't at the 3-point line, but then Miami got to love Dwyane Wade despite his reluctance to score from deep.
The other facet of Winslow's game is his acknowledged defensive prowess, as the following video shows (good but often repeats content).
Josh Richardson was out most of last season, and could bring Miami a true 3-and-D player. Richardson is capable of defending, dunking and 3-point shooting: the complete package. Hayward reached his peak needing seven seasons. Can Richardson understand his game sooner?
Coach Nick of Bballbreakdown.com, after a one-minute commercial, analyzes the Heat's unbelievable second half turnaround, with an emphasis on James Johnson's important contribution.
My take on his video is how often he said Dion Waiters and company refused to take bad shots. That insight may come from the value of having enough NBA experience not to rush shots. With Winslow, Richardson and Tyler Johnson entering their third season, they could finally achieve the maturity to understand the NBA game. Heat might see what the team is capable of when totally healthy.