Miami Heat’s Justise Winslow is finally starting to find his game

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 21: Justise Winslow
MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 21: Justise Winslow /

Justise Winslow’s recent step up might be exactly what the Miami Heat need.

Justise Winslow may have just hit his stride. The No. 10 pick in the 2015 draft looked to be one of the biggest steals. After an injury-filled sophomore season and some shaky moments to start off this year, many have talked about dumping Winslow.

Recently, the former Duke Blue Devil has quieted those talks. His level of play has stood out. Winslow is now delivering what fans thought he could bring to the court when the Heat first drafted him.

We’ve seen it before, but not like this. Last year in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Winslow padded his stats with 23 points and 13 rebounds. This year things seem a little different.

Winslow looks like a more confident and explosive player. He might not have the flashy stat-line that we all want to see, but his defense hasn’t disappointed. How fast and fundamentally sound he is, gives him the ability to guard the one through four (and even the five, in most cases).

Starting in the last seven games, Winslow has looked very comfortable. Against the Phoenix Suns, he racked up 14 points and five assists.

His season-high in points came from using his strength and tight movements to drive in the paint. It’s hard for defenders to keep up with that. The footwork is looking smoother than ever, pushing defenders to their heels or even getting stuck in their tracks. We’re also seeing the jumper start to fall.

Against the Washington Wizards, he took it even farther. The vision he processes, expands his game and options tremendously. As he uses his explosiveness into the paint, he has quick finds. Whether it’s James Johnson or Hassan Whiteside that he can dish it to, it often finishes positively for the Heat. Winslow is comfortable pushing the ball and is shifty enough that you just don’t know how he will finish

You can call him undersized at the four, but he never gets outperformed. Versus the Wizards, we saw him crash the board out of nowhere to finish with a dunk, as Dion Waiters raised the roof in appreciation.

In transition or in a defensive set, Winslow has the capability to switch on to anyone and it wouldn’t be a mismatch. In fact, guarding him is more of a mismatch for many, as he’s so quick for his size.

Next: The Whiteside-Johnson connection elevates Miami Heat past Washington

His quick decision making and strong moves, could be just the start of what we will see from Winslow and his career in Miami.