Do the 2017-18 Miami Heat have a top ranked backcourt?

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 17: Dion Waiters
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 17: Dion Waiters /

Trying to duplicate the second half of last season’s success, the pressure is on for the Miami Heat’s backcourt.

Last year, Goran Dragic and Dion Waiters were able to make a lot of noise for the Miami Heat, while not necessarily gaining a lot of attention themselves. Still, the two became the generals the Heat needed, and now could be one of the top backcourts in the Eastern Conference.

Coined 7-11, the two developed chemistry both on and off the court

"“First off, me and Dion, our lockers are right next to each other,” said Dragic. “We’re in the same neighborhood. We talk all the time. [Secondly] Dion has a different game than D-Wade. He has a similar game [to me]… His game makes it easier for me. It’s just a better fit.”"

A fit they hope to build on, come 2017-18.

The Dragon

In 2016-17, Dragic produced exactly how the Heat intended him to when they acquired the point guard. Leading the team in points (1483) and assists (424), Dragic became a silent killer.

He had a season resembling his 2013-14 run, during which he won the league’s Most Improved Player award. Averaging 20.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists a game, Dragic only further proved himself this summer, playing for the Slovenian National Team.

Always a top shooter, Dragic has also become one of the best playmakers in the NBA. Stuck behind Dwyane Wade his first year in Miami, he was finally able to run the offense at his own pace. And the veteran is only getting better, especially alongside Waiters.

Waiters Island

Even while only playing in 43 games for the Heat, Waiters still racked up 200 assists last season. But that’s not all. He also let us all know that he’s got ice water in his veins. His game-winner against the Golden State Warriors and second consecutive 33-point game last year, set the tone for what Waiters could do for Miami moving forward.

Having his second best season since joining the league six years ago, life is good on Waiters Island. Having averaged 15.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, Waiters earned his new paycheck. And $52 million over four years shows a lot of confidence from president Pat Riley.

After the All-Star break, Waiters (alongside Dragic) led the Heat to a 13-game winning streak, eventually turning into the team’s 30-11 run.

Next: Even the 30-11 Miami Heat are still a constant work in progress

Dragic and Waiters make for a great backcourt. Between the versatility of the two, Dragic’s high basketball IQ and the ice cold playmaking from Waiters, the duo will be looking to become one of the best backcourts in the East. Especially given the reoccurring nightmare of missing the playoffs last season.