Miles Bridges is just too damn nice.
At least that seems to be the train of thought heading into the NBA Draft concerning the Michigan State standout.
Seth Davis of the Athletic released his annual breakdown of every top prospect heading into the draft according to five scouts. Instead of attributing thoughts to specific scouts, however, Davis combines the main thoughts of every scout into one stream of thought from a fictitious scout named “Finch” (get it). According to the scouting breakdown, the biggest knock on Bridges is his on-court personality.
I worry about his killer instinct. Does he have any dog in him? I think he’s too nice of a kid.
This isn’t a new issue for Bridges. During his two years in East Lansing, Spartans head coach Tom Izzo repeatedly said he thought his star needed to be more greedy on the court.
In March 2017, Izzo said he hoped Bridges would develop into more of a “jerk” on the court, wanting Bridges to demand more from his teammates. The following year, Izzo said he wanted Bridges to be more selfish on the court, taking over games instead of distributing the ball. Izzo doubled-down on his desire to bring the jerk out of Bridges.
“I’m gonna teach him how to be a little more of a jerk. I’m good at that.”
Bridges seemingly has the skill to be a high-level player in the NBA, and he definitely has the demeanor to handle himself off the court. But it’s yet to be determined if he can ever become an alpha in the NBA.
That’s not to say, however, that Bridges needs to be Draymond Green on the court. He will likely never be someone who is demonstrative or loud during games. But on the right team, with the right teammates, Bridges could grow into a player who looks for the ball when his team needs him the most.
While it wasn’t with consistency, there were flashes of that attitude. During stretches when MSU couldn’t find any consistency, Bridges found a way to keep the team rolling long enough for his teammates to get involved. And there was also that time against Purdue.
Bridges wasn’t the only Spartan with concerns over a “killer instinct.” The same criticism was levied from “Finch” against Jaren Jackson Jr.
“Maybe he’s just not a killer.”
This probably feels all too real for most MSU fans after watching Bridges and Jackson this past season.