Mikal Bridges - Mikal Bridges: Rise of a Two-Way Star in the NBA - 26/Jun/2024

Mikal Bridges – Mikal Bridges: Rise of a Two-Way Star in the NBA – 26/Jun/2024

Mikal Bridges: Rise of a Two-Way Star in the NBA

In the realm of modern basketball, Mikal Bridges stands out as a paragon of the two-way player archetype that franchises covet. His ascent in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is a testament to his work ethic, basketball IQ, and innate talent on both ends of the court. This article dives into the journey of Mikal Bridges, from his collegiate achievements to his rising stardom in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns.

Early Life and College Career

Mikal Bridges’ basketball journey began with humble beginnings in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Before making waves in professional basketball, Bridges had a stellar career at Villanova University. Under Coach Jay Wright’s tutelage, Bridges showed promising growth and played a vital role in Villanova’s success.

2016 NCAA Championship

As a redshirt freshman, Bridges was part of the renowned 2016 Villanova Wildcats that captured the NCAA Championship. His defensive prowess and three-point shooting caught the attention of many scouts. Even then, he was renowned for his basketball IQ and defensive tenacity.

Development and Second Championship

Bridges returned to Villanova with an improved offensive skillset and continued commitment to defense, which paid dividends. In his redshirt junior year, he was instrumental in leading the Wildcats to their second NCAA championship in three years in 2018. His performances earned him the Julius Erving Award, honoring the nation’s best small forward.

NBA Draft and Rookie Season

Recognizing Bridges’ potential, the Phoenix Suns acquired him in a draft-day trade following his selection by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 10th overall pick in 2018. While transitioning from college to the professional stage is challenging for many players, Bridges quickly made his mark as a dependable rookie.

Development into a Standout Player

In his sophomore year, Bridges’ dedication bore fruit as he emerged as a key contributor for Phoenix. He showed significant improvement, becoming one of Suns’ most essential elements, particularly for his defensive capabilities and improved scoring performance.

Defensive Excellence

Bridels’ impact goes beyond traditional statistical measures. His ability to guard multiple positions and disrupt passing lanes made him an integral part of one of the NBA’s best defensive units.

Offensive Skillset

On offense, Mikal Bridges transformed into not just a reliable shooter but also an intelligent cutter and someone who could score off the dribble. His length and improved ball-handling enabled him to finish around the rim efficiently against bigger defenders.

Making Strides in 2021-2022 Season

The 2021-2022 NBA season was a watermark moment for Bridges, as he helped lead the Suns to one of their best regular seasons historically. His defensive capabilities were on full display throughout the season and his consistency on offense bolstered Phoenix’s arsenal.

Future Outlook

As he continues to grow and develop as a player, many predict Bridges has yet to reach his ceiling. With an already strong defensive foundation and continuously improving offensive skills, his pathway looks bright and laden with potential All-Star appearances.

Role in Team Leadership

Bridges is also known for his poised demeanor and leadership qualities. As part of the Suns’ core alongside Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, Bridges is an example for younger teammates who admire his professionalism and passion for improvement.

Potential Legacy

Should he continue at his current pace of development, it’s possible that Bridges will be recognized as one of the elite two-way players in NBA history. His potential for future accolades, including Defensive Player of the Year or consistent All-Defense appearances, is widely acknowledged by pundits and fans alike.


  • Drafted 10th overall in 2018 by the Philadelphia 76ers before being traded to Phoenix Suns on draft night
  • Became only the third player since 2010 to be named First Team All-Defense without having received a former All-Star accolade; shows unique prowess
  • Notable growth in offensive skillset between rookie season and third year, with significant improvements in three-point shooting percentage and scoring averages
  • Key component in helping lead Villniaova to two NCAA titles and recognized with Julius Erving Award honoring nation’s best small forward
  • Image Description

    A photo depicting Mikal Bridges in action on a basketball court during an NBA game. He is seen dressed in Phoenix Suns attire, intensely guarding an opponent player while scanning the court attentively. Fans can be seen in the background cheering and watching the unfolding play.