Justise Winslow, the player symbol of the revival of Portland | NBA

It has been seven years since Justise Winslow is in the NBA, and injuries have clearly prevented him from exploiting his potential as an all-purpose winger, capable of leading the game, but also of defending on a pivot according to his coach’s needs. Unfortunately for him, six months ago his career took a complicated turn. First, the Grizzlies had decided at the time of “free agency” to give up on his last year of contract.

Result: Justise Winslow found himself a « free agent » and he struggled to find a franchise, before accepting an eight million dollar two-year contract at the Clippers. But there, the competition is fierce, and he is moving to a position where Tyronn Lue already has his preferences with Paul George and Nicolas Batum. Justise Winslow finds himself pushed back to the end of the bench, before finally being sent to the Blazers with Eric Bledsoe, in exchange for Norman Powell and Robert Covington.

Arrived in a franchise in full reconstruction and close to crisis, he lives again, and his team remains on four victories in a row. The latest, tonight, had a special taste for him since the Blazers dominated the Grizzlies with a very large Ja Morant (44 points). In Memphis!

“I had a team option, and the Grizzlies decided not to activate it” recalls former Heat winger. “There are no hard feelings on my side, but you can’t forget that. There are only good people there, and it was a business choice. It’s a business and I know that. But I’ll never forget the fact that they didn’t extend me. I would always resent that. »

No hard feelings but, tonight, Justise Winslow signed his best game of the season with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. No hard feelings, but he joined the locker room screaming:  » You didn’t want me here! »

 » I just tried to be aggressive and put my shots he defends himself.  » I took the open shots, went into the racket, created for others. I was waiting for this match. I wanted to bring the energy, I wanted to win this match for personal reasons. I think I set the tone early in the game, and then we all backed each other up, and different guys took over at different times. »

Memphis didn’t want him, but it’s ultimately a blessing in disguise since he believes he has found « a home » in Portland. He feels at home in this workforce cobbled together in ten days.

« I think we’re building something really good, feeding off each other’s energy and really playing collectively right now. » continues Juste Winslow. “I think we put ourselves in a good situation before the cut. I have just been exchanged here, I am very happy there. God has beautiful things in store for us… I have found a home, and I don’t want to go anywhere else. I have one year left on my contract, and I feel like everyone here is a bit new. There are people in the franchise who have been there for a long time but the staff and a lot of players have just arrived… I think it’s a good time for me in my life and also in my basketball career. »

Among these newcomers is Chauncey Billups, who arrived last summer. He decided to start Justise Winslow on the wing, and give him thankless tasks, like defending on LeBron James a week ago or on Ja Morant this night. It is a « Swiss Army knife », and Erik Spoelstra used it as such in Miami.

 » I’m so proud of Juste concludes his coach.  » When I spoke with him when he arrived here, he really needed an opportunity to prove that he belonged. He was traded, injured and I said to him: ‘You are about to play for a coach who appreciates your style of play’. It’s fun to coach him. That night Ja (Morant) started to catch fire and Justise was the first to say, ‘Let me defend on him. Let me try’. He defended on him all the rest of the match, and that’s what we want. I told Justise that today more than ever, there are only a handful of guys like him on every good team where they move like Swiss army knives. Put him on the pitch, he creates, he’s smart, he’s very smart and he’s tough. »

At only 25 years old, Justise Winslow finds herself in the ideal team to relaunch her career, and her duo with Josh Hart could give some headaches to the best exteriors in the NBA.

Justise WinslowPercentageBounces
SeasonTeamGMMinimumShots3 pointsLFOffDefEarlypdpartyIntbpCTPoints
2021-22 *All Teams421545.519.
2021-22 *LAKE371344.717.
2021-22 *ORP53148.

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