Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic getting outshined by team’s troubles

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 03: Goran Dragic
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 03: Goran Dragic /

Lately, Goran Dragic’s greatness has been overlooked due to the Miami Heat’s rough start.

Goran Dragic is an elite point guard.

One who has started off his 2017-18 campaign strong. Averaging 20.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 34.6 minutes over eight games, the 31-year-old is playing some of his best basketball yet.

However, unfortunately, that accomplishment seems to be overshadowed by his team’s current struggle.

The Miami Heat have had a slow start to the new season. At 3-5 following a troublesome loss to the Denver Nuggets, the team has once more looked like the 11-30 version of themselves. Which is a version neither the organization nor its fans, ever wanted to meet again.

Between fallen victim to another round of injuries (Rodney McGruder and Hassan Whiteside), shooting slumps (primarily from 3-point land) and developing bad habits (like turnovers)… things have not gone exactly as planned. Especially given so much more was expected of the Heat, after both their 30-11 run and bringing back the majority of last year’s squad.

But something has been going right for Miami.

Their Slovenian leader has been killing the game.

Take his 23-point performance in a win over the Indiana Pacers, for example. Dragic shot an impressive 9-of-13 from the field, including going a perfect 2-for-2 from downtown. He also grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists, all in 32 minutes.

He also had 23 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals in Denver on Friday night, despite the Heat’s loss. The veteran got hot with the ball, shooting 8-for-15 from the field, and 4-of-7 from beyond-the-arc.

What Dragic has been doing goes beyond just what appears in box scores however. He’s been facilitating plays, keeping the energy up, and acting as a mentor to his younger teammates. Really, he’s the one thing that has been constant for Miami lately.

The co-captain isn’t satisfied with status quo though, regardless of how solid he personally has been. During the squad’s home stand, he was vocal about the guys simply not looking good, and heavily participated in a team meeting meant to turn things around.

And one can be sure he’ll only continue to push the Heat towards greatness, even if he doesn’t get much or any recognition for it.

In a way, he’s used to it.

However, it is still important for fans to see just how consistent the point guard has been lately.

First, because while Miami may indeed have plenty to work on, there are still things going well for the team. Important aspects of their success, not just for the immediate future, but moving forward towards the playoffs as well. But Dragic’s climb to the top is also worth noting in regards to how many people wrote him off, while he played alongside Dwyane Wade. Clearly, all he needed was a little room to take the offense into his own hands, and be able to set the pace of the game.

Next: Takeaways from the Miami Heat's loss to the Denver Nuggets

2017-18 may be rocky for the Miami Heat yet, but Goran Dragic is still out there blossoming.