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Heat Rumors: Dragic, Whiteside, Bench, Shooting

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.
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3 thoughts on “Heat Rumors: Dragic, Whiteside, Bench, Shooting

  1. formerlyz

    As I’ve said on numerous occasions, Dragic has looked bad on both ends of the floor. That being said, he has looked a little better at times recently, but as noted in the article, he has been missing a lot of the shots he normally makes, including at the rim. He needs to make those if we are going to get away with him on the floor on the defensive end, where he has regressed considerably, and he wasnt more than adequate previously in that regard. Early on, we were hiding him in multiple guard lineups with Chalmers or Tyler Johnson. Now that Rio is gone, I personally think we need to play Josh Richardson, as that should have been the main purpose behind making that trade when we did, instead of holding Rio for a while.

    Josh McRoberts literally refuses to even look at the basket. Hard to space the floor, despite how well you shoot it, if every defender knows you wont even think about attempting to shoot. Gerald Green ended up baring down on defense last night, late in the game, but its hard to expect that from him. I would play Richardson over him…

    As alluded to in the article, as well as the fact that I’ve been saying it since the offseason began, we definitely need another shooter on the wing, and I feel that is even more the case after we moved James Ennis. After trading Rio, I assumed Pat Riley had something lined up to open up that roster spot, or to add a shooter in a deal. My primary assumption is that we are going to wait until someone becomes available when buyouts start later in the season, or perhaps earlier, when 10 day contracts start popping up. If we can refrain from trading Birdman, I would be a lot more comfortable b/c I think he is important for this team, despite his lack of playing time so far. Also, as I’ve mentioned a lot, I think UD ends up giving us some big minutes this year. He was big for us last year, even when he wasnt cleared to play, and he is in unbelievable shape right now. He has also worked on his game, and added a little more range to that jumpshot, and has even started shooting the corner 3. With his toughness, and veteran leadership, I have no doubt that he will be very useful to this team, and he has shown that even when he hasnt played, with his motivational speeches in the locker room

    As for Whiteside, its crazy. Its like it gets more and more unbelievable as time has gone on. I’ve never seen anything like this guy before in terms of looking at all the variables, and how the Heat ended up with him in this position. He is legit David Robinson, without the passing skills. He is really fun to watch right now, and he seems to have great chemistry with Dwyane Wade

    • Chuck Myron

      Yeah, Whiteside is such a lucky find. This time last year, no one remotely knew he had this in him. Even when he was a fairly well-regarded college prospect, no one expected this.

      • formerlyz

        It started with him getting a couple of minutes and playing well a couple of times. Then people started really getting behind him. Then he got a couple of more minutes, and played a little better. Then people started making crazy comparisons that made no sense, like Shaq. Then he started getting more time, and it’s like he was getting better and better. Then he moved into the starting lineup, and started putting up big numbers. Now, it’s like it’s carried over from last year. He is still doing things we haven’t seen. He is still, somehow, getting better. It’s crazy. I can’t comprehend what it is.

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