Count Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade as one of the people who have joined the Justise Winslow bandwagon after the Duke University product’s string of recent impressive performances as the Heat’s starting point guard.
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) December 29, 2018
With Goran Dragic going in and out of the lineup so far this season and now being expected to be out up until the All-Star break, Winslow has gotten an opportunity to become the Heat’s primary playmaker.
As a starting guard in six games this season, the 22-year-old has averaged 16.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the field.
After Miami’s victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night, where Winslow had 24 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and two steals, Wade talked about Winslow’s recent string of games.
“You can tell the game is now slowing down for him and once the game slows down for you, it’s scary how good you can be. So we all are enjoying it,” said Wade.
Winslow also had some words to say about his breakout performances.
“I think I’m just playing with a lot of instincts and I’m just trying to lead,” said Winslow. “I want all of the guys to play free. I want all of the guys to be confident in their shots. I’m going to be confident in mine. I think that’s been a big thing of recent. I think we’ve been just super confident within each other and my teammates have been super confident with me.”
Seeing the fourth-year man play like this is a welcome sight for the Heat as they signed him to a three-year, $39 million extension before the season. The extension, which begins during the 2019-20 season includes a team option for the 2021-22 season.
Throughout his first three seasons in the NBA, Winslow had struggled, averaging 7.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. The 10th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft has improved mightily this season, averaging 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.