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Justise Winslow says he needs to adapt to physicality, schedule of NBA

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics

Bart Young

Justise Winslow looked every bit the rookie with promise in Summer League. He’s got a world of physical talent, but he isn’t quite sure how to use that yet. Plus, his shot needs work. I still think this will be an excellent pick for Miami, but they are going to have to develop him, he isn’t walking in the door polished.

What does he need to adjust to? The physicality of the NBA game and the unrelenting schedule (which he just got a couple of week taste of). That’s what Winslow told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

“More games, more physical, more back-to-back,” he said. “You have to figure out ways to fight through it.”

Winslow is fortunate to have a veteran player reach out to him, one who understands the wear and tear the NBA season takes on a player — none other than Mr. Heat Dwyane Wade.

“Everything between me and Dwyane has been helping me transition from college to the pros,” Winslow said. “We barely talk anything Heat [related]. He’s just helping me get adjusted from everything from the lifestyle to the duration of the season, how to take care of my body, diet and nutrition.”

Players will tell you the hardest adjustment is the pace of play — it is faster than college — and the physicality that goes along with it. Which ties back into what Winslow is saying — this is a marathon that grinds guys down. Winslow is learning fast that conditioning and taking care of his body is the foundation for everything else he wants to do in the league.

I love the Winslow pick for the Heat — he started to use his physicality to get to the line in Summer League. At least he did until he got a mild ankle sprain and the team wisely dialed him way back. I think in a couple of years he will fit right in with the space and pace plan in Miami.

The fact that he realizes there is a lot of work to do is a big first step.