Three Duke basketball champs for Joey Baker to study this summer

Duke basketball wing Joey Baker (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Duke basketball wing Joey Baker (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball forward Justise Winslow (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Justise Winslow. 3. player. Scouting Report. 2014-15. Forward. 434. Pick Analysis

Duke basketball champs for Joey Baker to study this summer: JUSTISE WINSLOW

Building on the Nate James segment, Joey Baker might also want to take some time envying the build of Justise Winslow in order to find the motivation to use dumbbells as pillows from now until tipoff of the 2020-21 season. In his one-and-done 2014-15 campaign, which ended with Duke dancing under falling confetti in Indianapolis, Winslow muscled his way to averages of 12.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 0.9 blocks.

Though significant increases would be required, none of the above stats seem completely out of reach for Baker as a junior. Yet to aid in achieving such numbers, Baker might want to borrow a few tricks that Winslow showed off as just a freshman.

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All those honed skills were on full display during the Blue Devils’ run to the program’s fifth national crown, notably during Winslow’s 22-point and 16-point performances against Utah and Gonzaga, respectively, in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight (of course, his combined 30 points and 18 rebounds in Final Four play weren’t half bad either):

Notice in the above montage that Winslow, unlike Baker to this point, often stopped on a dime when heading toward the hoop, sometimes even reversing his momentum enough to instantly pull off a smooth fadeaway. By doing so, the 6-foot-6, 225-pound small forward avoided charging into defenders and tripping over their feet.

Notice how Winslow rarely hesitated when deciding whether to shoot, drive, or dish. Notice the lefty’s instincts and motor when skying for blocks (granted, Winslow boasts more athleticism than Baker, but Baker is far from hopelessly flat-footed). Finally, notice the hint of “nasty” in Winslow’s demeanor.

Next season, if Baker would first analyze the notable features of Justise Winslow, Nate James, and Mike Dunleavy, he might just earn chances to unleash 20-point spectacles against foes of a higher caliber than Wofford.

This Joey Baker 2.0 would surely boost Duke’s chances of capturing elusive banner No. 6.

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