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Justise Winslow’s versatility helped Miami deal with injuries, says Erik Spoelstra


For Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, Justise Winslow has helped the team deal with injuries, primarily due to his ability to play different positions.

As per Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel, Spoelstra praised Winslow’s versatility — specifically his ability to play with or without the ball in his hands. Spoelstra also credited his professionalism, being that Winslow performs equally well whether he’s starting or coming off the bench:

“It’s really what I talked about in the beginning of the year, that it’s a compliment that we have that kind of faith in his versatility that his role won’t be as clearly and definitively defined as some others guys,” he said. “We’ll change positions, change roles — sometimes he’s with the ball, sometimes he’s without the ball; sometimes starting, sometimes not starting — and all of that is because that versatility.

Spoelstra noted that this versatility is imperative especially when the team has a lot of players out due to injury. Though he acknowledged that he doesn’t want to limit the 22-year-old’s role to such.

“And it’s so key, especially when you have guys out, that you have somebody that can wear a lot of different hats. And that is part of his strength. It’s not his only strength. I don’t want to limit him. But that certainly helps.”

Through seven games, the 6-foot-7 Winslow has logged in 9.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. He’s also added two steals per night to his tally. He’s on his fourth year in the league and as a member of the Heat. And over the summer, he inked three-year, $39 million rookie extension.