2018 Draft Prospects: Miles Bridges
If you’re already trying to figure out who is most likely to win a slam dunk contest from this year’s draft class, Bridges may be the safe pick. When he was at Huntington Prep School in West Virginia, Bridges dunked over his mother and sister during a dunk contest.
Bridges, because of his unreal hops and explosiveness, is an ideal alley-oop target. He excels in transition, especially when he breaks away, and often finishes with SportsCenter Top 10-worthy dunks. If he identifies a free path toward the basket in the half-court set, Bridges will dash ahead and signal for a lob from whoever has the ball. Some of his most electrifying dunks come out of nowhere, particularly when he flies in from the perimeter and slams home missed shots.
NBA coaches will adore Bridges because he plays with relentless energy and hustle. He never seems to take any possessions off. He’s the type that will crash the glass (he’s a very good rebounder), scramble for loose balls and even dive into the stands if necessary. Bridges has a very strong body, which helps him outmuscle and outwork smaller defenders. Though he has a very slow release on his jumper, Bridges is a decent 3-point shooter and is capable of shooting off the bounce (he often takes one dribble, pulls back and launches).
Not having blazing speed or a polished offensive game may hurt Bridges at the next level. While returning for his sophomore season helped, Bridges is still very raw and will settle for a lot of contested and inefficient shots. If the plan is for him to play power forward in the NBA, he will be very undersized. He's also not a great one-on-one or pick-and-roll defender (he’s slow moving laterally and doesn’t read screens that well).
College: Michigan State
College Stats: 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists
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