Hornets’ James Borrego planning to consistently start Miles Bridges next season
The Charlotte Hornets are finally embracing a youth movement. For rising second-year pro Miles Bridges, his team’s drastic shift in approach, thankfully, is poised to amount in far more consistent playing time than he received as a rookie.
In an interview during his team’s Summer League game agains the Chicago Bulls, Hornets coach James Borrego made it clear he plants to start Bridges in 2019-20, according to SB Nation’s At The Hive. While he’s currently unsure whether the former lottery pick will start at small forward or power forward, Borrego believes Bridges is more effective offensively playing the 4.
Borrego anticipates Bridges as a starter out of the gate next season. Could play either 3 or 4, but Borrego likes the mismatches he creates at 4.
— At The Hive (@At_The_Hive) July 10, 2019
The No. 12 overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, Bridges averaged 7.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game as a rookie, shooting 46.4 percent overall and 32.5 percent from three-point range. He started the last 25 games of the season in place of Jeremy Lamb, slotting next to Marvin Williams in interchangeable roles at forward.
Bridges’ versatility is one of the most valuable aspects of his game, but it’s also obvious he’s best suited playing power forward both now and in the future. He’s a streaky shooter at best and lacks the ball skills necessary to create for his teammates, far more comfortable as a play finisher than play starter at this point of his career. While Bridges is quick enough to stick with most guards in a pinch, his rare strength and leaping ability nevertheless mean he’s best utilized near the rim and as a helper on defense, too.
Kemba Walker’s departure is likely to sting Charlotte fans for a long time coming. With every step players like Bridges and fellow sophomore Malik Monk take, though, the Hornets will inch a bit closer toward making up for his absence.