It’s safe to say that no better player deserves as much recognition as Goran Dragic does. The Miami Heat have been on a tear this postseason and Dragic has been a key factor in the team’s success. It was mind-blowing to know that Kendrick Nunn would be out of the starting lineup to begin the bubble, but during Nunn’s absence, Dragic has stepped up in a big way.
Dragic has stepped up huge offensively for the Heat as not only is he knocking down perimeter shots, but he has done a great job at reading the defense and having easy penetration to the paint. For the most part of the first round, Dragic had his way against the Indiana Pacers. He shot 48% from the field and just torched Indiana in every way possible. Dragic was playing so well that Coach Spoelstra decided to keep him in the starting lineup despite Nunn’s return. It’s safe to say that even Coach understands that the lineup has been working for Miami thus far in the postseason.
Dragic’s defense has been up to par as well. With the great communication Miami has on that end of the floor, it has allowed Dragic to understand what’s going on.
Dragic made an effort to make things difficult on Malcolm Brogdon in the first round. He made sure Brogdon worked for every point he made and at times became physical as well. Brogdon was held to 40% shooting in the first round against Miami and that is all in part of Dragic pushing himself as a better defender.
Dragic defensive play carried over to the second round as well. With the Heat making an effort to trap Giannis under the basket, Dragic has made the effort to force a double team for Giannis to pass. He has also done a spectacular job at defending Eric Bledsoe, Dante Divicenzo, and others in the backcourt. Dragic has never been known for his defense throughout his career, but the fact that he has made an effort to play harder on that end speaks volumes to what is at stake for him and his team.
If many believed that Milwaukee would slow down Dragic, they thought wrong. He has just kept the momentum going game after game and continued to put up big numbers. Dragic provided a huge spark to start the series off with 27 points on 9-15 shooting from the field. The Bucks have always had issues with closing out on three-point shooters. So guess what? Dragic has taken advantage of the ill-advised defense that Milwaukee is playing. Although Jimmy Butler has been a monster throughout this series, Dragic has played his part as well in the Heat’s dominance.
Dragic will only continue to play better from here on out. He and his teammates all have the confidence to go out and play their brand of basketball. The momentum is on their side and they have nothing to lose going forward. It’s tough to tell whether the Miami Heat will make the NBA Finals or not, but if they do, Dragic will certainly be one of the main contributors to doing so.