Goran Dragic gave the Miami Heat something to chew on.
During the Miami Heat’s 100-88 win over the Atlanta Hawks, Goran Dragic was nailed by Al Horford in the mouth. He came up bleeding, with part of his tooth laying on the court.
Dragic left the game but would return to close out Miami’s second game of a back-to-back. The Heat point guard finished with 12 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one less tooth.
While it is obviously too early to tell, this feels like one of those moments that galvanizes a team. It may also mark the turning point in the season for Dragic, who has struggled to find his place in Miami before tonight.
Even before setting his appointment with the tooth fairy, though, Dragic was controlling the tempo of the game. He was pushing the pace, whether his teammates liked it or not. According to NBA.com’s Couper Moorhead, the Heat played at a pace of 100.57 with Dragic on the floor (that would rank in the top five of the league, as opposed to Miami’s bottom five pace).
However this impacts the regular season, there is little doubt that this was a big night for Dragic, as evidenced by the reactions from his teammates. During the post game interview with Fox Sports Sun, Gerald Green came up to the interviewing Dragic with a pat on the back and to tell him he still looks good.
Others also took the time to express how impressed they were with Dragic.