When Goran Dragic suffered an injury, Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra decided to try an experiment and used Justise Winslow as their temporary starting point guard. The former No. 10 overall pick didn’t waste the opportunity to prove himself and show his incredible playmaking skills. In the 27 games he played as the Heat’s starting point guard, Winslow established an impressive performance on both ends of the floor, averaging 14.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.1 steals on 43.7 percent shooting from the field and 34.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
After two months of recovery, Goran Dragic is expected to rejoin the Heat soon, making some people wonder if Coach Erik Spoelstra will bring Justise Winslow back to his previous role. According to Barry Jackson of Miami Herald, Spoelstra remains undecided if there will be changes in his starting lineup when Dragic returns, but the All-Star point guard doesn’t seem to have any problem making adjustments with his game for Winslow.
“If Justise is going to play on the ball, I can play off the ball,” Dragic said. “We can interchange. As long as we’re winning, that’s the most important thing. We have a lot of guys who can play the same position. That’s coach’s decision. I did it in Phoenix, I did it here. I can play off the ball.”
Goran Dragic comfortable in return because he's learned to share. https://t.co/gbNzsGeSuu— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) February 21, 2019
Goran Dragic is very confident that he can excel in an off-ball capacity once he returns from an injury. During his stint with the Phoenix Suns, the 32-year-old point guard said that he and Eric Bledsoe played well together when they shared the backcourt. With or without the ball, Dragic said that he will just do things that could help his team secure a victory.
Justise Winslow shared the same sentiment as Goran Dragic, believing that he and “The Dragon” can coexist in the Heat’s backcourt.
“We’re both attacking guards, like to get out in transition and run,” Winslow said. “That part is going to be natural for us. It’s not the first time me and Goran have played together. We’re both excellent playmakers.”
Coach Erik Spoelstra looks supportive to the idea of playing both Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow as their starting guards. Spoelstra said that he doesn’t see anything to be concerned about having two playmakers on the court. Spoelstra is optimistic that Dragic can still be a reliable contributor for the Heat even when he’s playing off the ball.
As of now, the Heat haven’t announced when Goran Dragic will play, but Coach Erik Spoelstra revealed that they are planning to put him on a minutes restriction. The Heat’s next game will be against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night at American Airlines Arena.