Brooklyn Nets guard Mikal Bridges has not had the best start to this season compared to how he started with the Nets last season after being traded to Brooklyn as part of the Kevin Durant trade. By all means, Bridges has still been a solid player for Brooklyn, but it’s clear that there were some struggles with the way that teams are not being physical with him and not allowing him to get comfortable using his dribble.
In Wednesday’s 109-105 win over the Miami Heat, Bridges had 21 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, including a huge fourth quarter in which he had nine points, two rebounds, and one assist in helping the Nets win the fourth quarter by 12 points to complete the 16-point comeback. That was an encouraging performance to see from him as he has had some miscues in clutch moments to start this young season.
Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn has said multiple times that he is putting more on Bridges’ plate because he believes that the former Phoenix Sun can handle the extra responsibility. Vaughn spoke after Wednesday’s win about how good it was to see Bridges figure things out on the fly and let the game come to him:
“I think they’re (Bridges’ big moments) just coming in the flow of things. At the end of the day, they’re not forced, not pressed. So, that’s progress for him and then, for him to make the big play at the end, whether that was to get the offensive rebound, score the free throw. Whether that was to make his consecutive free throws at the end of the game, also to want the ball at the end of the game. So, I think at the end of the day for him, this is growing and growth for him.”