Miami Heat Makes and Misses: The corner 3, Dragic and Richardson

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 26: Goran Dragic
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 26: Goran Dragic /
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Make: Goran Dragic

It’s not breaking news to anyone that when Dragic is attacking at will, the Heat are capable of beating just about anyone in this league on any given night. Dragic’s best days, whether it be in Phoenix or Miami, have occurred when he has the ball in his hands, pushing the pace of the game and creating for himself and his teammates.

Dragic was efficient in the three wins, scoring 27 on 17 shots against Boston, adding 20 in Minnesota and leading a strong fourth quarter with 24 on 11 shots in Chicago. But more than that, Dragic was aggressive with the ball that allowed his teammates to get good looks.

Mostly, when Dragic gets into the lane he’s able to cause some havoc and kick the ball out to one of the Heat’s many shooters who are now returning to their averages after a slow start. It’s amazing what even a few extra dribbles can do, not just for the Heat’s offense but to further get the defense to react and get off balance.

At one point during this drive, Dragic has four Celtics defenders looking at him with nobody having eyes on the other Heat players coming down the floor. Dion Waiters is able to meet Dragic at the corner and get off a shot before Al Horford can properly contest.

That was off of a fast break and here is Dragic in the half court working with a dribble hand off from Justise Winslow, and turning aggressively and decisively towards the rim. Taj Gibson isn’t ready and help has to come, leaving Waiters in the corner for the three.

The elite point guards in this league all do one thing extremely well—they put immense pressure on the defense with their dribble penetration. Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving and the like all set themselves apart with their ability to get in the lane and create for themselves and their team. This version of Dragic we saw over the last three games is the version that belongs in that conversation.