Name: Mikal Bridges
Position: Shooting Guard
Birth Date: August 30, 1996
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NBA Comparison: Robert Covington
Mikal Bridges is a difference maker on both ends of the floor. At Villanova, he displayed real ability to be a game changer on each side of the floor. Offensively, he can score at all three levels of the floor and makes a lot of the small plays in a team offense. Defensively, Bridges makes a real impact against his individual match-up as well as in the team defensive settings.
Bridges is a wing that excels on both ends of the court. At the defensive end, Bridges uses his incredible motor and size to be an incredible difference maker. Bridges uses his length to overwhelm players in the post and on the perimeter. He contests shots well and his length allows him room for error against quicker players.
He shows excellent discipline and mechanics when defending on the ball. Bridges stays in his stance and tends to stay on the hip of the ball handler at all times. Bridges rarely dies on screens, tends to always recover to the ball handler. He defends well without fouling.
At Villanova, Bridges showed all the signs of a terrific team defender. He often makes the right decision while reading the pick and roll. He also shows a real knack for reading switches.
On defense, he plays the passing lanes well, uses his quickness to jump the passing lanes with the ability to quickly recover to his match-up if needed.
On the offensive end, Bridges is becoming a diverse shot maker. He can now score at all three levels comfortably. Bridges can score off the dribble whether in isolation or squaring up off of screens.
He’s a long player with a very high release point which enables him to shoot over most defenders. He excels off the catch, he uses a quick release with quick feet and his length to get his shot off in any situation.
While he’s not an overwhelmingly explosive leaper, he possesses the ability to finish at the rim with either hand. He utilized his length to make up for the lack of explosion, especially against bigger players.
He moves well off the ball and shows the ability to relocate for a better look after giving the ball up. Bridges possesses the ability to make intelligent plays in the pick and roll. He’s very unselfish and is willing to make the extra pass to get a good look for a teammate.
Bridges does not possess a solid handle of the basketball. He’s not an isolation player by any means as he lacks the shiftiness to gain any type of separation from his defender. When he was put in situations where he took over the primary ball handler role, he often pushed the issue and forced things offensively. He’s best set to be a secondary ball handler offensively and do a lot of his work off the catch.
He needs to put on some weight when he gets to the NBA. He lacks the strength to guard stronger players on a consistent basis. His strength will determine whether he can guard the four which will make him a true mismatch defensively. Right now he projects to defend 2’s and 3’s at the NBA level. To take advantage of his versatility, he needs to bulk up some.
Mikal Bridges has potential to be an elite NBA player on both sides of the floor. He’ll come into the league with an impressive balance of defensive dominance and offensive skill. Bridges projects to go in the top five of this year’s draft. His elite ability on both ends of the floor makes him endearing to any NBA team drafting in the top five. Over the past few weeks, Bridges has done a lot to raise his draft stock even higher. He’s turning into a sleeper favorite to go number one in the draft to the Phoenix Suns.