76ers Draft Profiles: Miles McBride
We’re just a few days out from the 2021 NBA Draft, and with that comes another chance for Daryl Morey to help make the 76ers better. While reports have circled that Philly may trade away their first round pick, there are certainly some interesting candidates at pick 28. One of those players is West Virginia Basketball’s point guard and leader on the court, Miles aka “Deuce” McBride.
Before we break down what makes Miles McBride a great pick for the Sixers, let’s talk about what Daryl Morey should do to bolster this squad come draft night. With multiple reports circulating that Philly wants to trade 3x All-Star Ben Simmons, and two of the Sixers best players residing in the front court, there’s no question Morey needs to insert more talent into the back court.
While Tyrese Maxey showed great development last year at point guard, Philly needs to get more help at the guard position. That added talent at the backcourt could come from a block buster trade, but in a draft stacked with guard talent, Morey could look there for a needed boost.
Miles McBride is a 6’2″, 200-pound point guard coming off a great sophomore campaign at West Virginia. Last season McBride averaged nearly 16 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals a game for the Mountaineers. Not to mention he shot over 41-percent from three point range and 81-percent from the free throw line.
McBride stepped into a new leadership role as the starting point guard and quickly blossomed as WVU’s primary ball carrier and facilitator. Miles was able to help West Virginia to a spot in the NCAA Tournament, one game away from a Sweet 16 spot before getting bounced by Syracuse.
Offensively Miles McBride has shown the ability to score in a multitude of ways. McBride’s bread and butter is the mid-range jump shot, and is one of the best from that area in this draft class. Miles loves to make a quick move to get slight separation from his defender, before stopping on a dime into a knock-down mid range jump shot. McBride’s quickness with the ball in his hands constantly forces defenders to cheat towards the basket, which is why he can easily get space for a mid-range.
Miles McBride’s offensive ability doesn’t stop with that though, as one of his biggest improvements from his freshman to sophomore season was outside shooting. Over the course of his career, Miles McBride has done a great job improving his shooting from beyond the arc, and was prolific from down town in both catch-and-shoot and off the dribble scenarios. His outside shooting saw such a drastic improvement that his three-point percentage jumped eleven points from his freshman to sophomore year.
What impresses me the most about Miles McBride is his ability in one-on-one matchups. Miles flashes almost wing-like traits in isolation situations, catching the ball in post-up like situations just inside the arc. From there, McBride uses a great jab step and quickness to create enough separation for his mid-range. He even has a reliable turnaround fade that he uses to catch opposing guards lacking.
The only real area for improvements with Miles McBride’s offensive game comes with his passing ability. McBride is certainly much more of a scoring guard, and doesn’t have court vision that really jumps off the page. His size makes some passes difficult for him to make from the point guard position. That isn’t to say that Miles is turnover prone though, has he never averaged more than two turnovers a game at West Virginia. Despite this, McBride’s five assists a game in 2020 shows that he has no trouble hitting open players when needed.
If you thought McBride’s ability on the offensive end was impressive, his defense is even more tantalizing. Simply put, Miles McBride is a certified dog on the defensive end. McBride plays much bigger than his 6’2″ frame lets on, and that’s all due to his impressive 6-9 wingspan. Miles may be one of the best on-ball defenders in this draft, constantly sliding his feet to stay with defenders. His disciplined on-ball defense paired with his wingspan also generates deflections constantly, which is why the sophomore averaged nearly two steals last season for the Mountaineers.
What really takes Miles McBride’s defense to the next level is his IQ. McBride sees screens very well, and does a great job reacting to them accordingly based on his man. McBride’s strength and quickness makes it easy for him to fight over screens on shooter-heavy guards. Off-ball, Miles doesn’t stop working, and says on top of his rotations away from the play. Many of McBride’s steals came off of balls kicked out of the paint, where Miles made the correct rotation to “help the helper” who slid into the paint to stop a drive.
To be perfectly honest there is only one real problem keeping McBride from being a Sixer. He’ll likely not make it to pick 28. Many NBA minds believe McBride could go as high as pick 17 come draft night. The only thing helping the 76ers is the fact this draft class is super guard heavy, meaning a player like McBride could fall right into their lap. Regardless, if Morey makes a pick in the first round, and Miles McBride is on the board, Sixer fans may be looking at their pure-scoring guard of the future, who’s defense could turn him into a superstar.
Mandatory Credit: Tony Gutierrez.