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Goran Dragic Won't Let You Ignore Him

Photo: Lynne Sladky (AP)

That’s my guy. Looking like Crossfit Benedict Cumberbatch. Love to see this type of vigor.


Those wild Suns seasons feel so long ago—remember the 10.8 win shares, Most Improved Goran Dragic?—and admittedly the Heat weren’t a top priority for my League Pass fumblings through the regular season, but now, in a probably futile first-round series, Goran Dragic is all over the television screen and hamming up every second of it. The combo guard leads the Heat in scoring with 19.3 points a game, with five dimes a game to go with that. He has sunk half of his attempts from the field in this series and shot 42 percent from three, apparently unfazed by Robert Covington. He’s rumbling right into the thick of things, and on any given drive seems to be making simultaneous contact with three different bodies. Somehow none of this physicality affects his ability to finish devious and-ones,

or slingshot passes through pinholes,


with this one being the real highlight of the night.


Here’s another angle:


This Heat squad, of all teams, desperately needs what Dragic brings. They’ll happily space the floor for you—now, what exactly to do with all that space? Miami is well-stocked with well-sunned, hyper-fit snipers but unless you want to rely on the regular reincarnation of a Dwyane Wade retrospective reel, you’re going to need someone capable of dribbling multiple times in a row, and after last night I’ve seen enough of Kelly Olynyk off-the-bounce for the next several lifetimes. Dragic is their laxative, the man who can Make Something Happen on demand. He urges them into fast breaks and keeps the ball flowing, guiding them to the second-highest assist rate among all playoff teams, and, at 44 percent, the the second-highest three-point clip, too. With Ben Simmons ascending and Joel Embiid easing into his masked powers while Hassan Whiteside sulks, this team may not be long for this world. Enjoy the Slovenian while you still can.

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