Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra had a difficult task when the team acquired Goran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns. He needed to figure out how to get the speedy guard to fit in with Dwyane Wade, the veteran who was much more methodical in his approach on the offensive side of the game. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Spoelstra has decided to speed up the game, and Dragic has been benefiting from it greatly.
Earlier in the season, it appeared that the Miami Heat made an $85 million mistake when they signed Goran Dragic to a long-term contract. The 6’3″, 190-pound guard seemed really out of place playing in the same offense as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He appeared like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. It got to the point where some even wondered if Heat president Pat Riley should try to move the 29-year-old veteran before the NBA Trade Deadline in February.
The Miami Heat players have enjoyed the rise of Goran Dragic. Since the NBA All-Star break, the Slovenian guard is ranked eight in assists. Since the ball is in his hands more frequently now, he can use his play-making abilities to create opportunities for his teammates. That has increased chemistry and raised morale in the Heat locker room. That says a lot because Miami already had one of the best locker room environment in the entire National Basketball Association.
On an individual level, Goran Dragic is finding a surprising bit of success. Right now, he’s ranked second in the NBA in plus-minus. That means that there’s only one player whose team outscores the opponent more when he’s on the court. That player is San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who happens to be considered one of the five best players in the league. That’s good company for Dragic to share.
The quick style of play was what Goran Dragic was hoping to find when he made a long-term commitment to the Miami Heat. Rather than waiting until Dwyane Wade was out of the NBA, Dragic fortunately gets to play that style now. While it’s true that their odds of getting past LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are not that great, the Heat at least have something to play for during the remainder of this season.
[Featured Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]