Goran Dragic signed a five-year $85 million deal with the Miami Heat over the summer, and it’s fair to say his numbers don’t match the price tag.
Dragic is averaging 12.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game for the Heat this season after he started off horrid in November, averaging 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.1 rebounds a game on 42% shooting from the field. His three-point shot was nowhere to be found either, shooting just 22% on them.
Dragic raised his scoring average by 1.8 points in December, and then went up to 14.2 points in January, shooting above 50% from the field and 46% on threes, but he was momentum he was gaining was ruined by a calf injury that sidelined him until the Heat’s final two games of January.
Dragic has been good passing the ball since coming back from the calf injury, averaging 6.2 assists, but his scoring has been down, averaging just 10.5 points since coming back.
Dragic isn’t focusing on the numbers, however:
While Dragic has been struggling to adjust in his first full season with the Heat, he doesn’t think it’s fair for critics to bring up his stats from previous seasons. “I’m not even paying attention to those people who say, ‘Oh, he used to average 20,’” said Dragic, who averaged 20.3 points per game back in 2013-2014 for the Suns. “You know, they don’t know a lot about basketball. This is a team sport.”
Dragic’s 12.1 points per game are the 4th most by a player on the Heat, trailing Hassan Whiteside, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. So, in terms of scoring that Dragic is the 4th option as a starter:
“We’ve got two All-Star players in D. Wade and Chris Bosh. We’ve got Hassan [Whiteside]. We have so many guys that can score, and I’m a point guard. I cannot take 18 or 20 shots every game. I need to involve everybody. Some games I’m gonna score 20 and some games less, but that’s fine with me.”
I watch a lot of the Heat. In fact, I follow every game as close as I possibly can. Dragic has worked hard to find his role in the offense since his terrible first month of basketball. His jump shooting has came around, and when he needs to score for the Heat, he does score.
Dwyane Wade has only missed three games so far this season, and two of those games Goran Dragic was also not available for, so he hasn’t had the chance to play without Wade in the backcourt like Wade has had to play without Goran.
Speaking of the Wade and Dragic backcourt, Dwyane and Goran worked harder on communication since the start of the season on where they need to be and what they need to do for each other. Dragic shared a piece that Wade told him in a past game:
“Every game’s gonna be different, Dragic said. One game they were double-teaming D. Wade on the pick-and-roll and he said, ‘OK, G, I’m gonna pass it to you more and you’ve gotta be aggressive as a scorer.’ It’s just each game’s situation and who has the best matchup.”
Hassan Whiteside looked better for the Heat coming off the bench behind veteran Amar’e Stoudemire yesterday, so the way the Heat send out their lineups and the way Erik Spoelstra rotates them in and out should be interesting to see over the next few games.
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