Through two weeks, Mikal Bridges has posted 14-5-1 with a block and almost a steal a game. Bridges is also doing so efficiently shooting 49% from the field and 46% from deep with 2.7 triples a game. As of now, Bridges has more than exceeded his ADP which was in the ’90s for a lot of people’s drafts. The question now is, is it for real?
The Chris Paul Effect
It comes as no surprise that CP3 is helping this Suns team. The attention he demands from opposing defenses coupled with the attention paid to Devin Booker has left Bridges with wide-open looks all season long. Bridges has not had such clean and consistent looks in his career until now. The chemistry he also seems to already have with Paul has helped a lot as well. Bridges is always positioned and spaced correctly on the perimeter for Paul and he loves making baseline back cuts when the defender is sleeping on drives or helping in the pick and roll.
Bridges was destined for more minutes in his third season after his performance defensively in the Bubble. With Kelly Oubre Jr. moving to Oakland the lead wing defender role was Bridges for the taking and he has made the most of it. So far Bridges has seen a consistent 36 mpg in close games and 34 on the season as a whole. He is the team’s best defensive wing and provides rebounding from the wing which is one of the places this Suns team needs the most help. With his young legs and everything he brings to this Suns team, more minutes still could be in his future.
This is where regression will be seen going forward. From the field, Bridges is shooting 49% which is actually lower than it was last season at 50%, and could have room for growth from the floor as a whole, but from the three-point line, his 46% is going to come down to earth. Even considering how open he has been on a lot of these shots, a 10% improvement from three is very unlikely for this young player. That being said I could see him settling somewhere around 40%. Bridges has looked more confident from deep this season and is seeking threes more than in the past as around 60% of his shots are from deep so far this season.
Yes, I think Bridges is for real and I would look to target him in trades as soon as he has a down week. The jumper will come back to earth but the steals should come up and the rebounds are consistent with his minutes in the past. The fact Bridges is only owned in 86% of Yahoo leagues right now is a crime as he is a must-own in any league format.