Comparing Justise Winslow or Josh Richardson to Lonzo Ball and Luka Doncic is a bit of a stretch. Let's make it pulling the rubber band to its breaking point, if not past it. But Miami Heat fans can fantasize about the possibilities of Winslow and company climbing beyond the boundaries of their potentials.
The NBA last season shifted its emphasis from scoring machines to creativity, court vision and awareness. Lonzo Ball captured the trend, and is riding the wave for all its worth.
Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson's fit the frame of Lonzo, aka Zo, more than Winslow. What's missing is their obsession to study the mental aspect of the game down to the smallest detail, as Kobe Bryant did against Iverson [emphasis mine].
Working harder wasn’t enough.
I had to study this man maniacally.
I obsessively read every article and book I could find about AI. I obsessively watched every game he had played, going back to the IUPU All-American Game. I obsessively studied his every success, and his every struggle. I obsessively searched for any weakness I could find.
Ball's excitement doesn't come from schoolyard highlight dunks, but perfectly timed passes that Tom Brady would be proud of. Like Stephen Curry, the new Zo doesn't rely on brute strength to bring fans into the arena and sell jerseys, but dazzling displays of pulling tricks out of his hat as Dwyane Wade showed Rooks 1 and 2 in person.
Josh and Tyler have the NBA athleticism to be sure. Their next step is doing it with assists by taking advantage of the other team's mistakes. As the cliche goes, if they snooze, they lose.
Justise Winslow and Bam Adebayo are more like Luka Doncic in size and age. Who better to mentor them on that style of game than Doncic's idol, Goran Dragic?
At 17 years old Luka went against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Russell Westbrook as a member of Real Madrid.
Again Luka's playmaking ability, rather than his athleticism, stands out when he takes the court against grown men. Dragic totally understands what steps need to be taken by Winslow and Adebayo to achieve stardom. And that's not only in the weight room, but keeping their heads cool by knowing their adversary better than the other guy knows himself. They have the tools, now is the time learn how use them from the masters: championship players and coaches.
Alright, saying the Miami Heat have Lonzo Ball or Luka Doncic on their team is a pipe dream. But the Heat have the savvy veterans to lead the inexperienced players on how go past schoolyard basketball, to the exciting team-first and fast-paced of NBA basketball today.