Goran Dragic, who signed a five-year, $90MM deal over the summer to stay in Miami, is mystified by his early-season shooting problems, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Dragic ranked 23rd from the field among point guards entering Saturday’s games, connecting on just 41.7% of his shots. “I’m missing even easy shots, layups,” he said. Dragic is making just 55.6% of his shots at the rim, compared to 70% a year ago, and his three-point shooting has fallen from 35.5% last season to 27.6% this year. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the staff is being patient with Dragic and isn’t trying to change his shooting method. “We don’t want to break his shot,” Spoelstra said. “He’s proven he can shoot. The way I look at it, the odds are in our favor.”
There’s more news out of Miami:
- Hassan Whiteside, who will be a free agent next summer, is putting up historic shot-blocking numbers, Jackson writes in the same piece. The Heat center averages more blocks per game than seven other teams and his average of 4.55 would be the highest since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1989/90.
- The Heat’s bench is a “work in progress” that could change by the trade deadline, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. The columnist says there are a lot of question marks among Miami’s reserves, with Josh McRoberts struggling, Gerald Green out of sync on offense and Amar’e Stoudemire only being used when necessary. In addition, Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen hardly ever see the court.
- The Heat may be in the market for another 3-point shooter, Winderman speculates in a separate column. The team is hoping Green will find his shot or Tyler Johnson can fill that need. In addition, Chris Bosh and McRoberts are two big men with a history of success from behind the arc. But Winderman says a deal for a 3-point specialist is possible, especially if the team is able to take care of its luxury-tax problem.