Miami Heat’s Goran Dragic finally gets some recognition


Having earned the NBA’s Player of the Week award, it seems Miami Heat star Goran Dragic is finally being recognized.

Just five years ago, the Miami Heat were on top of the world. Or at least at the top of the league’s totem pole. Coming off having won the Big Three’s first championship in 2012, the team was determined to do it again. And spoiler alert, they did.

But now, the Heat are underdogs. Barely given a second thought, despite the weakness of the Eastern Conference. Fighting to make the postseason this time around, after missing the playoffs last year on a technicality to the Chicago Bulls.

It’s not just Miami as an unit that’s overlooked either. Players who are every bit deserving of high praise are being left out of bigger conversations, merely because of the ball club they belong to.

This is especially true of point guard Goran Dragic, a guy who has been playing his best basketball yet.

Having averaged 20.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists a game in 2016-17, the point guard put up numbers comparable to his 2013-14 run with the Phoenix Suns, a year during which he won the league’s Most Improved Player award. And yet, this feat essentially went unnoticed.

Because despite the Heat’s incredible 30-11 turnaround, they were still unable to grab that eight seed.

Then, the 31-year-old had a summer to remember, winning gold for Slovenia in EuroBasket. And earning the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award. While the organization and Heat Nation may have applauded the veteran’s job well done, once again his efforts were not widely appreciated.

Which of course carried over into the early days of this season. It didn’t much matter that Dragic put up 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field in a win over the Indiana Pacers on October 21. Or that he shot 4-for-7 from downtown in a loss to the Denver Nuggets on November 3. He was still just another member of a struggling Miami team.

However, it seems like the star may be on his way to finally being treated as such.

The NBA just named Dragic the Eastern Player of the Week, after the Heat went on a three-game winning streak. He averaged 23.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.0 steal per contest last week, while shooting 52.4 percent (57.9 percent from beyond-the-arc). And led Miami in points and steals twice, and assists and minutes once.

Not to mention he scored 27 points in a streak-snapping win over the Boston Celtics.

Claps for the Dragon.

Next: Miami Heat Basketball is about so much more than numbers

And here’s hoping the Miami Heat headliner gets more shine this year.