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Dragic impresses in EuroBasket competition

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The Heat’s starting guard has been unstoppable in his final international stint with Slovenia.

NBA: Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

After signing his five-year, $90 million contract with the Miami Heat in 2015, Goran Dragic infamously showed up to training camp out of shape.

That won’t be the case this year.

Playing in his final international competition for EuroBasket, the Heat guard had a scintillating three-night performance for his native Slovenia. Dragic scored 30, 29 and then 20 points to lead Slovenia to a 3-0 start in the tournament. The last game, a 78-72 win over Greece Sept. 3, featured Dragic scoring nine points in the decisive fourth quarter.

Should Slovenia advance to the tournament’s Final Four, Dragic won’t have much time to rest before the start of NBA training camp. To reduce the number of back-to-backs, the NBA will start the 2017-18 season two weeks early. The Heat’s training camp opens Sept. 26, with preseason games starting Oct. 1 and the regular season commencing Oct. 18.

And the EuroBasket competition runs through Sept. 17, just nine days before the start of training camp. For now though, it’s premature to say that Slovenia will advance to the Final Four. It’s just great to see Dragic playing good basketball before training camp opens. After a solid 2016-17 campaign, Miami will need another strong year from Dragic if they are going to make good on their goal of securing a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference.