« Mikal Bow », the new trigger for the Suns
Already heroic in the victory after extra time against Spurs, Mikal Bridges gave a layer tonight against the Raptors to snatch the victory. Author of 16 points in the first quarter, the Phoenix winger showed « clutch attitude » with two baskets at halfway to give the Suns a three-point lead two minutes from the end (103-100) . A few seconds later, it was Chris Paul, after a big offensive rebound from Torrey Craig, who put the cover at 3-pointers.
Author of 29 points, Mikal Bridges was already known as the “Iron Man” of the Suns, and he has since recovered a new nickname: “Mikal Bow”. No link with a singer or an actor, and it is Deandre Ayton who explains the genesis.
“They laugh at me because they think I take that shot every time”
« I looked at Book’ and said to him, ‘These are your systems' » says the pivot of the Suns. “You know, Mikal wants the ball all the time there (note: the angle of the racket, called “elbow”). At the end of the match, twice in a row, we looked for him. On each side. For everyone, the coach, the players, it became Mikal Bow. Because Mikal wants that “elbow”. »
It is therefore a play on words, and you have to pronounce “Mik Elbow”, and it is indeed Bridges who has recovered the systems usually designed for Booker at mid-range. Inevitably, this nickname amuses him.
“They laugh at me because they think I take that shot every time, and so I became Mikal Bow. I feel like I’m unmarked half the time. It’s just a little joke they created. »
For his coach, it’s a chance to have a player capable of bringing variations in attack, while this « spot » is also appreciated by Chris Paul. « He and Chris knew we couldn’t run the same system, so they took a different route, » Monty Williams analysis. “It’s the same type of system, but they took a different route and Mikal found us another good shot. That’s the experience you look for in guys late in the game, to be able to run the same system but vary it to try and get a good shot. »
“When you start to have the ball often and you are a scorer, you start to find solutions”
In the pass, Chris Paul appreciates being able to count on another striker to replace him, pending the return of Devin Booker.
“It’s cool… He put it on for the first time, and then I looked at him, and I made him understand that we were going to play on his side again. When you start to have the ball often and you are a scorer, you start to find solutions. When Book and I are away, there are a lot of responsibilities on him. »
A trust that everyone feeds on, and that’s what the coach retains.
“We see Mikal come out of it in these moments. I think the players give him a lot of confidence, but he also has confidence in himself because he worked for it and he doesn’t worry about the consequences. Chris was very good at finding him in his favorite places. »
« Glue guy » for several seasons and considered the best defender of the team, Mikal Bridges has reached a milestone in attack, and he thanks Chris Paul and Devin Booker.
“I’m just grateful to have guys like Chris and Book, and to be able to see them, and see what they’re doing. Their way of finding their “spots” and their shots” concludes Bridges. You know, we are all basketball players, and when a system works, we will continue to use it. »