Is Mikal Bridges a long-term networking star?
when networks acquired Michael Bridges along with Cam JohnsonAnd Jay Crowder and several first-round draft picks from the Suns’ collection Kevin DurantThere was excitement after Bridges’ impact as an elite role player in Phoenix.
With 15 games to go, the Nets should be excited about the star player Bridges has already become. The former Villanova Wildcat is in the midst of a transformation and has become the number one team. 1 option in a short period of time.
Bridges was on a tear, averaging 26.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists. He shoots 50 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from the three-point line.
In Phoenix, Bridges established himself as one of the premiere three-pointers in the NBA. He was a great tackler who shot well from the three-point line.
On defense is where Bridges made his name. He was a force to be reckoned with. Runner-up for the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, Bridges could defend multiple positions and was often tasked with guarding elite players in the playoffs such as LeBron James And Luka Doncic.
Bridges has already put together a sizzling highlight reel. There was the win last month against the Miami Heat, where he lost 45 points with eight rebounds and 5 assists. Bridges scored 30 points on seven different occasions. Prior to his arrival in Brooklyn, Bridges had only one 30-point performance in 365 games with the Suns.
Based on his performance with the Nets, there’s a good shot at the 26-year-old making the All-Star team. This was not possible just a month ago.
One aspect of Bridges’ game that stood out was the number of free throws he took. Bridges has already attempted 98 free throws in 15 games with the Nets. He only had 157 free gifts in 82 games with Phoenix last year.
The free throw attempts are also a surprise because Bridges hasn’t changed his diet much. He actually takes slightly fewer shots at the edge while seeing a modest uptick in his mid-range shot attempts.
Building a bridge to the future
Bridges is not a perfect player. He can still improve his game with pick and roll and in isolation. The Nets offense scores 112.9 points per 100 possessions with Bridges away compared to 107.7 points per 100 possessions in the 519 minutes Bridges has been on the ground, according to NBA Stats.
There is also room for growth in shot selection. Can he reach the edge further? If he pulls bugs out, that could really matter in raising his efficiency. Also, can he convert some of those mid-range attempts into shots from behind the arc? This should be the next step the Nets are looking for in Bridges next season.
The next exam for Bridges as a primary option will be Postseason. Defenses will hold the fifth-year player and it will be interesting to see if he can excel. At Phoenix, he was no higher than the fourth pick in the team’s playoff run.
with Brooklyn entering Sunday as the East’s number. Seeded 6 at 39-31, the team has a really good chance of continuing into the playoffs – and at worst, home-court advantage in a potential play-by-play situation. Although Bridges has experience in the NBA Finals, being a starting option in the playoff series is different and will be important to his development.
Bridges’ first 15 games with the club were impressive, and he cemented himself as a key component in Brooklyn’s rebuilding and All-Star prospect. He may not be the first choice if the Nets are able to acquire a superstar and build back up rival status, but Bridges has shown he can be a bridge to the team’s future.