Goran Dragic Taking Mature Approach to His New Role Off Bench for Miami Heat

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Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic is back playing after an extended recovery from December knee surgery.

Since he’s still not at 100 percent, Dragic is coming off the bench, a contrast from his previous role as one of the Heat’s starters in the backcourt.

Despite the change, Dragic is taking a mature approach to the situation and is eager to help the Heat in their push to garner a playoff spot:

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“At this time, it just is what it is. I’m a competitive guy, so I want to play as much as possible. But what’s best for the team. I told that to Coach. I told that to the players. We’ll see.

“I’m still not 100 percent after the injuries, so at this time I’m fine.”

Dragic, who turns 33 on May 6, has only played in 23 games this season, with his season averages of 14.4 points, 4.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game largely mirroring his career numbers. He had already missed 12 of the Heat’s 26 games when he had the surgery, with the subsequent rehabilitation costing him the next two months.

After Dragic returned on Feb. 23, he played in four games before then sitting the following three clashes. However, since then, he’s played in the last five matchups, the most recent being a 19-point, four-assist performance in Sunday night’s victory over Charlotte.

The Heat have struggled as a team all season, though Dragic’s spot has been ably filled during his time away by Justise Winslow. However, with the playoff race winding down and the Heat battling just to compete, both players will be needed in whatever capacity is required.

Entering Monday night’s action, the Heat are currently situated in the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference with a 33-36 record. That puts them one game ahead of in-state rival Orlando with 13 games left to play on the Heat schedule. The first of Miami’s games will be a challenge as it plays a road game at Oklahoma City on Monday night.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.