So what was it about game 55 that felt different than any before?
First off it was a victory, which we haven’t seen enough of lately. Yes I know it came against the lowly Philadelphia 76ers who have changed their roster and traded young players to get..younger players. But it was a victory needed none the less and now Miami has now won two out of the past three games.
Last night, the first thing everyone noticed was the pace of the game. Statistically the Heat are one of the slowest teams in the league and once Goran Dragic gave them a totally different look.
Out of the next 27 games total, 12 of them come against teams that are currently not in the playoff picture. Time to quickly look at some players:
Goran Dragic: 23 points, 10 assists - This is what the Heat needed. You do realize Miami's last actual point guard was Jason Williams? And before that Tim Hardaway? So Miami has had two really talented point guards in the span of two ecades. Dragic isn't afraid to drive in, he catches everyone off with his left hand shot, and he continuously finds the open man as he runs the floor. Miami scored 119 points last night, when it usually averages 93 a game (28th in the league). All hail Goran!
Luol Deng: 29 points - Luol Deng has certainly been a beneficiary with this new offense in place. Deng's offense usually comes during plays that aren't really plays but more like triggers and reaction. The problem with Deng is that he happens to show up offensively only every other game. Consistency will be needed especially when your leader is out for the season.
Hassan Whiteside: 12 points, 14 rebounds - Dragic's eyes light up whenever you ask him about Whiteside and that's because he sees potential there to for him to be a lethal combination with the big man. I for one was worried that Whiteside would have to catch up to this offense and for the beginning of the game, I was right. After a sluggish start, Whiteside finished strong and has averaged 14.5 points and 14 rebounds a game after coming back from his ankle injury. The question is, will the pace have to be slowed for Whiteside to be more effective?
Dwyane Wade: 8 points - Wade took to Instagram last night after the game saying "Good team win.. I like it when I don't have to play the 4th." Yea I agree with him. The less the ball is in his hands the more effective he is. The more he is on the bench, the less chances he gets injured.
Henry Walker: 11 points - .....
Everytime Dragic has a big game, I'm playing the following song by WolfGoat, posted up by my co-worker Matt Pineda. Have you heard it? You'll sing it for the rest of the day. Promise