Expectations for 20-year-old forward Justise Winslow are soaring. Can he live up to them in 2016-17 (Erik Drost/Creative Commons)?
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In the first team-focused interview of the season, Slice Miami’s Josh Baumgard makes On the NBA Beat history by becoming the first guest to appear three times, and the third time was certainly a charm (as were the first two). In this Miami Heat-themed episode, he gushes about the monstrous numbers Hassan Whiteside has the potential to post as the focal point of Miami’s offense. Baumgard also waxes nostalgic and practical about the ramifications of Dwyane Wade’s departure after 13 seasons as the franchise cornerstone. Plus, along with a range of other timely topics, he explains how Miami’s already stout defense can be even stronger this upcoming season. Scan some scorching excerpts below:
2:58-3:10 As the episode title suggests, second-year wing Justise Winslow will make or break Miami’s season, according to Baumgard: “I think he’s the key to the whole season. I think he’s the difference between whether they’re gonna be a 35-win team or a 45-win team. You’ve got to see some offensive improvement out of him, and I think with the increased role he’s ready for it.”
5:50-6:22 “That’s gonna be huge, because if he can develop a consistent jump shot, the defense is gonna play closer to him; that’s gonna open up driving lanes. And as we saw in the preseason, he’s a pretty good ball handler and he’s a very underrated passer. I think he can find guys in the corner for those open 3s, so, again, I think it goes back to Winslow. If he’s able to create some offense behind Goran Dragic, it’s gonna ease the burden on them scoring, because they’re likely not gonna be a great offensive team, but if they’re at least better than average, I think that bodes really well for their playoff chances.” Continue reading
Chris Bosh celebrates the Heat’s 2012 title with reporter Josh Baumgard on his right (Getty Images/Andrew Bernstein).
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While Josh Baumgard of Slice Miami doesn’t believe the Heat are the contenders they expected to be, he does shed light on their many strengths and what’s currently holding them back. Also on the docket, the impending free agency of enigmatic big man Hassan Whiteside, as well as Justise Winslow’s rookie campaign, Chris Bosh’s value and many other fascinating Heat topics. Here are some of the highlights:
3:27-4:08: “He (Hassan Whiteside) could be gone in two weeks. That’s what’s crazy. Here is a guy who’s reminiscent of a very poor man’s David Robinson or Alonzo Mourning in that he could be a two-way force (and) he’s a shot-blocking machine. He’s a rim-protecting giant, super-athletic…when he’s not out there, it’s open season on the rim. Defensively, I know he’s got some things to learn…(he should) not necessarily go for the block all the time, but he has all the makings of a top-5, top-10 defensive player. Offensively is where he has a lot of work to do.”
7:03-7:37: “The biggest thing (defensively) is…it’s amazing because he’s only 19 but it’s Justise Winslow, just putting the clamps on the perimeter. He’s been a defensive menace from Day 1. The second game of the season, they threw him on LeBron (James), and LeBron torched him, I think he put up 30, but Winslow still played great defense. He made him take tough shots, and LeBron was just hitting them because he’s an all-time great. But Winslow has been a huge surprise early on. I don’t think anyone expected him to be this good early, this soon as far as on the defensive end.”