Justise Winslow is a freak.
At 19 years old he’s already one of the league’s most effective defenders, especially on the perimeter — he backs down from no one — and the only rookie who’s averaging over 24 minutes a game (28 MPG) on a team with a winning record.
He was appropriately likened to Hercules by Goran Dragic after last night’s overtime win against the Pacers. More amazing is the fact the Heat outscored the Pacers by a team-high 29 points with Winslow on the court. This is absurd because it was a game that went to overtime, so unbelievable his coach said it “looks like a misprint.”
Justise Winslow posts a plus/minus of +29 in a game that went to OT. Spoelstra says, "That almost looks like a misprint.”
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) February 23, 2016
Winslow was locked in defensively, per usual, putting the clamps on one of the league’s best two-way players in Paul George. He held the versatile wing to just 5-for-17 shooting when the duo matched up.
It wasn't all about Justise, but … Paul George's shooting:
– With Winslow on bench: 6-for-7.
– With Winslow on floor: 5-for-17.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) February 23, 2016
It’s difficult to effectively quantify defense. I don’t buy into many of the individual advanced metrics out there because they often conflict. But Winslow aces the eye test.
He has an uncanny ability to keep even the league’s most ruthless attackers in front of him, utilizing a rare combination of elite lateral quickness and brute strength. A la Ron Artest in his prime.
Justise 🔒 pic.twitter.com/0lp9VH3mCB
— Josh Baumgard (@joshbaumgard) February 23, 2016
In league where dynamic perimeter players are king, defensive stoppers like Winslow are of incredible value. A giant chunk of Miami’s most effective lineups feature Winslow.
There’s a reason why Pat Riley didn’t unload him for four first-rounders before the draft and there’s a reason so many teams were rumored to be asking for him at the deadline. Factoring in the rookie contract, he possesses the highest trade value on the roster.
Justise Winslow is a specimen. Like Hercules.