After a slow start a move into the starting lineup signals the unleashing of Mikal Bridges for the Phoenix Suns.
The most memorable performance obviously was his season high 26 point performance against the Boston Celtics where he hit six 3-pointers. The unfortunate part is that so much of the success in that game came from those six 3s, which is FOUR higher than his next highest of the year (2).
Nevertheless, the outburst is still encouraging but perhaps the more important performance going forward was his most recent game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Back in November, Luka Dončić went off for a season-high 42 points against the Phoenix Suns. Enter in 34 minutes of Mikal Bridges, most of which were spent guarding Dončić and that is how Luka ended the game with just 21 points, his 5th lowest for a game he completed this year.
It should come as no shock that this performance comes after inserting Bridges into the starting lineup in place of Dario Šarić, who has been good, but who is not the type of defender that Bridges is, though few are.
The other encouraging part of Bridges game from the Mavericks was his playmaking. It even showed up in the box score with a season-high of six assists along with no turnovers.
While playmaking is not high on the list of skills Bridges needs to work on to be a valuable player, it is important to have. Especially when he is starting alongside Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton who both benefit greatly from playing with Bridges.
The defense has always been there with Mikal Bridges, and the shooting always seems like it should be there at any moment. The biggest change simply could be the amount and way he is going to be used going forward. If everything continues to trend the way it has been for Mikal Bridges, he should be set up for a strong finish to the season.