Erik Spoelstra Praises Goran Dragic, Seemingly Throws Shade at Dion Waiters - Heat Nation

Erik Spoelstra Praises Goran Dragic, Seemingly Throws Shade at Dion Waiters

Goran Dragic Miami Heat Steve Mitchell / USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat veteran point guard Goran Dragic has accepted his role coming off the bench and has flourished in it.

In Thursday night’s blowout win over the Phoenix Suns, Dragic scored 25 points, 20 of which came in the second half.

Following the win, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra heaped praise upon the guard. His message didn’t seem to be solely directed at the Slovenian national, however.

It appears that Spoelstra may have also been calling out Dion Waiters, who has yet to see the court this season after reportedly complaining about his place in Miami’s rotation.

“He has the emotional stability to be able to handle that,” Spoelstra said of Dragic graciously accepting a bench role.

As if that wasn’t clear enough, Spoelstra continued to lay it on thick with the cryptic comparisons between Dragic’s and Waiters’ current situations.

“It’s a great luxury for us to bring an All-Star talent like him, in his prime still, but off the bench,” Spoelstra said. “I don’t take that for granted and make sure that the team doesn’t take that for granted.

“Those young guys are playing, and you have an All-Star, proven, highly decorated player and winner in this league doing that. That’s a great sacrifice. That’s a great example for the young guys on our team.”

The fact that Dragic was named to an All-Star Game just two years ago and has still accepted a bench role contrasts with how Waiters has acted.

“I haven’t forgotten that he’s an All-Star,” Spoelstra said. “And I’ve talked about it all the time. Just because he’s a really good guy, he a professional and he understands the big picture, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy or that he’s signing up to come off the bench.

“There’s a discussion that we’ve had, and it was with the big picture in mind, and he’s embraced it. I think he’s going to have an incredible year off the bench.”

If Waiters could accept a rotational role on the Heat, there is no doubt his scoring would be valuable just like Dragic has been. Up to this point, however, it seems he may not be able to do that.

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