Miami Heat: Should there be real concern about Goran Dragic’s play?

Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat in action against Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat in action against Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat have managed to go 1-2, thus far, on their West Coast road trip. Plucking the Blazers on last Sunday, that seems so far away because they’ve endured two very tough defeats since.

At the hands of the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, the Miami Heat were let down by their bench unit. While Cam Johnson and the rest of the Phoenix Suns bench just kept producing, the Miami Heat couldn’t get the same type of effort from their side.

On Wednesday, the Miami Heat were let down by everyone. You can’t pin it on a specific group, guy, or player when they had the type of second period that they had against Denver.

The Miami Heat only put up 18 points in that quarter, while Denver rung the board for 34 points of their own. In this NBA, where shots fly and the scores run up, that won’t get it done.

It will get you beat though and that’s exactly what it did. It’s worth noting that Goran Dragic didn’t play in the game against the Denver Nuggets, but even still, he wasn’t great on the previous night against his old team in Phoenix.

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The Miami Heat need Goran Dragic to be their best selves, but what’s he have to give?

While many have already gone to the point of The Dragon being washed or done, that might not be the case. In fact, that likely isn’t the case, at all.

For a guy that had a plantar fascia injury as he did, tearing it, then not only does it take time for your body to physically get back right but there’s also a whole set of mental things to adjust to. Not only do you have to get over the self-preservation of it all in the notion to not re-injure, but you also have to re-program yourself to go at the speeds or tempo you need to be able to and with the same force as you once did.

That’s what’s going on with Goran right now. It’s not that he can’t execute the things he once did, as recently as last season, it’s just that his timing seems a tick off.

When he’s driving, he isn’t catching the same angles. When he’s shooting, he’s mistiming the best look at the shot off of his moves.

It all seems like something that he just has to re-calibrate, but, it’s still there. The timing would be off because he isn’t using that same force or speed, which then isn’t the same as he’s always done things.

His game is actually a bit wanky, with the way he uses the floaters, the board, and counters that with reckless drives, but that erky jerkiness is dependent upon being able to explode, slow down, stop, go, and everything else on a dime, when he wants to.

He’s just not there yet, as you also have to think about something. He didn’t have anywhere near the normal time as he would have in a typical year to not only recover, but get back to himself on the court.

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He will be key moving forward, as he’s always been, but he’s just not all the way back yet. He can, should, and will likely get there though.

That definitely has to be the hope.