The Miami Heat will head into the 2018-19 NBA season with a different sense of balance, as head coach Erik Spoelstra claims his team does not have a true point guard on his roster, despite having All-Star floor general Goran Dragic in his team.
Spoelstra believes that when it comes to running plays, everyone is a point guard, trusting that when Dragic isn't at the commands, he will take on other duties instead of asking for the ball in return.
“The more guys that can dribble, pass and shoot, the better that you offense will work,” said Spoelstra, ahead of Wednesday's season-opener at the Amway Center against the Orlando Magic, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “And ‘dribble' can have a different definition for different players. A big player might be two or three dribbles to get into an action or to dribble up to the court to get it to somebody else.”
Dragic has been a hybrid of sorts throughout his career, able to find the open man and quarterback the offense, but also eager to carve up defenses with his long-range shooting and acumen for skilled finishes at the basket. Spoelstra's revamped approach is one that could help him further his skills that much more.
“He understands the big picture of a team,” Spoelstra said of Dragic. “And he understands what the strengths of a team can be and how he can add to that, and he has great emotional stability to be able to evolve. And as he gets into his 30s, he is a dynamic player with the ball and an increasingly dynamic player without the ball.”
The Heat will have others like Dwyane Wade, Tyler Johnson, Dion Waiters and James Johnson handle the ball and bring it up the court, allowing Dragic to make the most of his scoring off the ball.
“I love it when he's up ahead and we pitch it to him in the open court,” said Spoelstra. “I like him on the move. I like him cutting. He's just a very good offensive basketball player and that's just not exclusive of just being with the ball.”
This dynamic will limit teams' defensive concentration on Dragic and give him ample ways to thrive as a scorer and secondary playmaker off the ball, giving the Heat a different dimension than what we saw last season.