There has been concern, plenty of times, that the Heat made the wrong selection in the 2015 NBA Draft when they took Duke forward Justise Winslow with the 10th pick (Devin Booker would have been nice). He had a pretty decent rookie year for a 19 year old, but it ended with a DNP-CD in the playoffs when he was struggling from the floor.
His sophomore year was cut drastically short with a shoulder injury and surgery. And now in his third year, after an extended absence, he is beginning to show some promise that he indeed good at basketball.
Winslow at times has really struggled to score, even finish at the rim. He was not shooting the ball well, and in fact his form needed work. But he impacted the game defensively.
Now, in the month of March, Winslow is putting it all together. In 7 games this month, Winslow is averaging 13 PPG and 7.7 RPG and well as 2.6 APG. On top of that, because although those are not incredible numbers they are improvements, he is shooting 53% from the field and 55% from three. That is where the real ! comes in. He isn’t a bulk scorer but he is taking what the defense gives him.
Lately he has been shooting with confidence and not hesitating and he is hitting enough to be efficient. And all of those stats are in addition to the good defense he plays, the reason he is on the floor in the first place. Winslow has found a role being a secondary ball handler when Goran Dragic is not on the floor. He’s able to facilitate the offense, not necessarily create it.
And all of this is making us think....maybe Winslow isn’t that bad after all. I mean if you watch many Heat games, you have probably scratched your head a time or two with Winslow. Maybe you have screamed at him, maybe you have screamed at Spo for having him in there when he can’t shoot. Maybe you have also had the times when you said, “Oh wow that was nice.”
And that is Winslow right now as a 21 year old. He’s showing glimpses of being a good player and having moments where he is ineffective. But for the month of March, he is trending in the right direction and he is doing it fast. In fact in March, he is getting almost 8 more minutes per game and has already scored in double figures six times, compared to only twice in February.
Winslow has admitted before that it has been hard to be the makeshift player he has become. Spoelstra has used him from everywhere from a point guard to power forward, a sub to a starter and a defender to a scorer. But Winslow is making it work.
If he continues his play, the Heat become just that much better, and the project will continue.
Do you think Justise Winslow will continue his play like has in March?
This poll is closed
Yes, it’s only going to get better
No, this is a fluke