You have seen it on Twitter.
That’s it. Those are the tweets.
We all know what they’re for and we all appreciate the man that we call “The Warden”. If for some strange reason you don’t know why he’s referred to as that, it’s because he locks down the opponent to a point where he’s put in “Mikal Jail”.
When you realize you boutta enter Mikal Jail pic.twitter.com/D1MWY3IcAs— Brandon Awadis (@brawadis) May 20, 2021
I have another nickname for him, though. One for his offense.
He took a leap on that end this season, answering the Phoenix Suns’ call after the team traded Kelly Oubre Jr. and inserted Bridges into the starting lineup.
That leap was SIGNIFICANT.
He had career highs across the offensive board.
Field goals made (5.0) and attempted (9.3), field goal percentage (54.3%), three-pointers made (1.9) and attempted (4.4), three-point percentage (42.5%), free throws made (1.5) and attempted (1.8) and points (13.5) were all up.
“Mr. Efficient” sound good?
Let me explain to you just how efficient he was, both compared to all NBA players this season and in franchise history.
This season, only 13 players around the league made more field goals at a better percentage than he did.
Only 8 players made more three-pointers at a better percentage.
NO OTHER PLAYER shot a better clip from the field and from deep.
Here is a one-tweet summary.
Mikal Bridges just wrapped up a ridiculously efficient scoring season while averaging 13.5 points per game.— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) May 17, 2021
76% at the rim
51% from midrange
42.5% from 3
65% on 2s
In Suns history, what he did this season put him first across the board in many offensive categories for single season numbers.
Mikal’s two-point percentage (64.7%) tops Deandre Ayton this season (2nd place - 63.9%). Before that, the record had been held for 31 years since Mark West (62.5%) logged it in the 1989-90 season.
His effective field goal percentage (64.3%) tops Ayton this season (2nd place – 62.9%). West (62.5%) also held that since 89-90.
Bridges’ true shooting percentage (66.7%) topped Amare Stoudemire’s 07-08 record (65.6%).
His 131.3 offensive rating topped Ayton (2nd place - 127.1) and was a whopping 7.0 points better than Stoudemire’s 124.3 rating he set in that 07-08 season.
Again, “Mr. Efficient”, ladies and gentlemen.
He also is an Ironman, with an underrated achievement.
Mikal Bridges is very committed to keeping himself in great shape for the Suns! pic.twitter.com/bxNChO19r7— Suns Nation (@SunsNationCP) May 18, 2021
Now, it’s time for the playoffs and up first are the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. Mikal will be a huge factor in this upcoming series as he will need to continue his offensive leap while being challenged to guard one of the best players of all time in LeBron James.
Will he be ready for the task?
In his last 11 games of the season, not counting the very brief appearance in the final regular season match against the Spurs, he shot 62% from the field, 54.7% from three, made 2.6 treys and averaged 16.8 points along with 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
He looks like he’s been preparing himself to me.
The future is very bright.