Everyone expects the Miami Heat to compete for the Eastern Conference Championship this year, and their expectations are realistic. One of the reasons is because of the way that the roster is constructed. The Miami Heat Have arguably one of the deepest teams in the NBA and their point guard’s ability is one of the calling cards of this team.
Last year the Phoenix Suns made a huge mistake on their roster by attempting to create the point guards of the galaxy when they had Isaiah Thomas, Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic on the court at the same time. Long story short, management had to trade away Dragic because he wasn’t going to re-sign, thus giving the Heat one of the best teams in the league.
Now that Dragic’s playing his weekly games on Biscayne Boulevard, here are five reasons why Miami Heat fans will grow to love “The Dragon.”
1. He’s Scary Good
Who knew that all it would take for the Miami Heat to land such an amazing point guard is a flub like Phoenix made by singing Isaiah Thomas and having them think that it could work with a three-headed point guard monster. Thanks to their erroneous error Miami arguably gets a top ten point guard on its team in the prime of his career. Dragic two years ago was on the brink of making the NBA All-Star team because of the way that he produced on the court. Dragic averaged 20.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists while sharing the backcourt with Eric Bledsoe.
Last season with the Heat Dragic put up great numbers in only half a season posting a statline of 16.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.
Now that Dragic has a full year under his belt with the team expect for Dragon’s scoring numbers to increase drastically. The Heat are looking for a third primary scorer for Wade and Bosh, and Dragic falls right in the pecking order. The lefty could have his first All-Star selection this season if he plays well enough.
2. He’s An Uptempo Player
Goran Dragic might not be one of the fastest players in the NBA like Russell Westbrook, John Wall, and Derrick Rose, but that’s never stopped him from playing the point guard position at an uptempo pace. One of the reasons why fans will love Dragic just as much as Erik Spoelstra will love to catch him is because Dragic understands how to score easy points in transition and he’s not careless with turnovers while he’s doing it.
As the quarterback of the Suns offense in Phoenix, Dragic had to orchestrate the tempo of speed that they played at. Playing with players who could run also helped his ability to push the pace. Dragic made life much easier for Eric Bledsoe because of his decision making. Even though he’ll be playing with a more veteran-filled roster with players who aren’t necessarily the fastest players in the league, next year Dwyane Wade, Justise Winslow and Gerald Green will be the recipients of easy baskets because of his decision making.
3. He’s Intelligent
One of the biggest takeaways that Dragic got from playing with the Suns organization is the fact that he got the opportunity to learn from one of the best points to ever play in the NBA in the retired Steve Nash. After watching Nash for so long and competing against him in practice turned Dragic’s game for the better. Ironically enough Dragic was more out of control when he was younger but playing with Nash so long turned him into a Nash clone. Currently, Dragic is one of the most intelligent guards in the game.
One of the most underrated parts of his game though is a skill that many guards lack in the league, the ability to finish at the rim. Since Dragic’s not jumping over anyone or attacking people directly in their body, he still is effective when he gets into the paint. Dragic is very crafty at finishing. Whether he’s finishing with contact that he drew, or using the rim as a shield from shot blockers, he understands how to convert in the paint.
4. Chris Bosh Will Thrive
Chris Bosh last season missed the second half of the year because of blood clots in his lungs. Thankfully, Bosh is healthy this season and is ready to compete at an All-Star level once again. The result of him missing the second half of the season though is the fact he never got an opportunity to play on the same court with Dragic.
This year Bosh is going to become Miami’s number one option within the offense and with the help of Dragic it will be a seamless transition. Even though Dragic enjoys playing the game at a fast tempo, when he’s in the half court setting he’s actually still just as effective. Dragic will find Bosh, who’s game is tailor made for the pick and pop. It will give Bosh many easy shot opportunities when the Heat run their half court offense.
5. No Weak Links
For the last few years, a lot of people complained about the fact that the Miami Heat didn’t have a true point guard on their roster.
Even though the team made it to the Finals for four straight seasons while capturing two championships in the process, fans complained that the lack of a true point guard hurt them in the long run.
Now that Dragic is on the roster for the Heat people won’t have much to complain about this year. The Miami Heat from top to bottom might have their deepest team in history this season and a lot of credit goes to Dragic being in Miami. With the pieces on the roster such as Amar’e Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Gerald Green, Justise Winslow, Hassan Whiteside, and giving them a point guard like Dragic who can get them all involved offensively, will only help Miami have a successful season.
D’Joumbarey A. Moreau covers sports in Miami-Dade & Broward County. You can follow him on Twitter @DJoumbarey.