Justise Winslow was one of the best rookies in the NBA last season, good enough to crack our Top 20 Small Forwards list, and he did it all without even the semblance of a jump shot. His combination of excellent defense and well-timed, Tony Allen-style cutting is already enough to justify major minutes, but since this is the offseason, the hype machine is already chugging along. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the sophomore wing is poised to make a leap this season.
The Heat is very encouraged by the progress Justise Winslow has made while working with a shooting specialist this summer. One Heat staffer said his stroke, release and rhythm are looking a lot better.
“You will see a major difference; he can be a special player,” that person said.
Winslow declined to identify the shooting coach but said he is “pretty pleased” with the results and that he’s working on his jumper during the early mornings and late at night.
The coach has made mechanical changes to his stroke, Winslow said: “Just smoothing things out. I am pretty confident. I like the way it’s going.”
Very few small forwards in the NBA combine great defense with consistent shooting, so if Justise can get there, “special” would be a fair term for him. That being said, he’s 20 years old; he could improve his shot considerably and still have it be considered below average. But with the departures of major perimeter players Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng, Winslow will have the space to grow and become a foundation piece in Miami.
(Via Miami Herald)