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Miles Bridges is way more than just a human highlight reel

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Could we be witnessing the emergence of the league’s next two-way star?

Boston Celtics v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

Miles Bridges is having one of the best seasons that no one wants to talk about. He may not be in MVP conversations, he may not even be in the conversation for Most Improved Player, but he has been playing some of the best basketball of his career.

Over the last ten games, Bridges has averaged 20.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. What’s most impressive, however, is the efficiency with which he’s doing it. He has shot 51.7% from the field and 45.5% from deep over that span. He’s even on pace to become the firs player in Hornets’ history to have a 50-40-80 season.

Bridges is one of 12 players putting up those kinds of numbers over the last ten games. Other players on the list include the likes Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Jaylen Brown. Bridges has managed to pick up a ton of slack for Charlotte as they deal with a boatload of injuries.

Not only has he been spectacular on the offensive end, but his defense has been amazing. Statistically, he is one of the best defenders in the league in terms of defensive field goal percentage. Among players who defend 10 or more shots a game, he is 21st in defensive field goal percentage (43.3%). To put that into perspective, other players who have similar defensive field goal percentages are Jimmy Butler (42.3%), Luguentz Dort (42.6%), and Marcus Smart (44.1%).

What makes his recent offensive surge even crazier, is that his defense has only improved. Normally, when a guy is forced to take on a larger burden on offense his defense suffers the consequences. Not in Bridges’ case. In the last 10 games, his defensive field goal percentage has improved to 41.4%. That is better than potential Defensive Player of the Year Ben Simmons (41.7%) over that stretch.

LaMelo Ball should be back in the rotation soon which should only improve Bridges’ offensive efficiency. With Gordon Hayward sidelined the Hornets needed someone to step up - Bridges did just that. He’s so much more than highlight-reel dunks and his first step towards stardom could be happening before our very eyes.