MIAMI — The assumption has been the Miami Heat veer away from giving rookies roles of significance.READ MORE: Miami Police Department Sees Record Number of Applications In Hours
But for first-rounder Justise Winslow, things could be different this season. The No. 10 overall pick received a heavy dose of playing time in his NBA preseason debut on Sunday, logging a team-high 28 minutes and finished with nine points, two rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Does the perpetually honest Chris Bosh think this particular rookie has a chance to make an impact this season?
“Yeah for a rook,” Bosh joked. “But he’s good. He’s good. I mean he’s big, he’s physical, I don’t really think he’s really 19. I gotta see his birth certificate on that one. He’s big and physical, strong and fast. He’s just that classic Miami Heat player that Pat Riley loves — long arms, his athleticism, he’s developing his jump shot. But the thing I like about him most is he’s got a great basketball I.Q. to be so young. He’s in the right spots. You don’t have to tell him much.”READ MORE: Banksy 'Charlie Brown' Sells For $4 Million, While Child Prodigy Thrills Crowd With His Artwork
Winslow’s ability on the defensive end should help carve an immediate role off the bench in Year 1 but it will likely be his 3-point shooting and his ability to help space the floor that’ll dictate how big of a role he’ll receive as the Heat aim for a deep playoff run.
He did shoot 42 percent from three in his one season at Duke but what makes the transition more difficult is the NBA arc is three feet further (except for the corners). Winslow missed all three of his 3-point attempts on Sunday.
“Yeah, he’s gonna have to knock it down,” Bosh said when asked about Winslow’s shooting translating to the pro level. “With the pace-and-space thing and space is a big part of it. We talked about it. I told him you’re gonna be open. Let’s just get that out of the way. You’re gonna be open. You’re gonna have to find that fine line between being aggressive and taking your shot and moving onto the next play, kind of getting those second and third opportunities that we need. Yes, he does need to knock shots down for us when he’s in the game.”MORE NEWS: Arrest Made After Social Media Threat Targets Marjory Stoneman Douglas High
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