Goran Dragic credits faster pace for recent offensive surge
The Miami Heat are currently doing their best to solidify their hold of the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. They picked up a 129-102 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday, their fourth win in the last five games.
According to Anthony Chiang of Palm Beach Post, All-Star guard Goran Dragic believes that their fast-paced, high-octane play on the offensive end has been the determining factor in their recent success.
“Our pace is faster,” point guard Goran Dragic said when asked to dissect the Heat’s offensive improvement. “It sounds kind of strange because D-Wade, he likes to play a little bit slower. But especially the first unit, we have a lot of pitch aheads. As soon as you get the ball, try to pitch ahead. The pace is a little bit faster. We’ve got maybe more possessions because of that. Of course, our execution is way better so that counts, too. But we like it.”
Since the game after Dwyane Wade’s return to South Beach, the Heat have upped their pace to 100.43 possessions per 48 minutes, which is the 13th-fastest pace in the league during that time. That’s a huge jump from their average of 96.86 possessions per 48 minutes in their first 55 games, which was the third-slowest pace in the league.
That increase in pace has seen their offensive rating jump from 103.1 points per 100 possessions to 111.3 points per 100 possessions, which is eighth best in the league during that 11-game span.
The Heat will now look to keep up that kind of tempo as they begin their upcoming three-game West Coast trip on Monday against the up-and-coming Portland Trail Blazers squad led by the dangerous duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. They will also go up against the Sacramento Kings on Mar. 14 and the Los Angeles Lakers on Mar. 16.
Dragic and the rest of the Heat will look to continue to do wonders during their upcoming road trip as they eye a playoff return after missing last year’s edition in which they finished ninth in the East.