NBA Playoffs: The Dragon is Breathing Fire Alongside Jimmy Butler for the Miami Heat

Published 09/16/2020, 12:00 PM EDT
Aug 31, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) celebrates with guard Goran Dragic (7) after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in game one of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at The Field House. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The Miami Heat drew first blood in the 2020 Eastern Conference Finals. They clinched an overtime thriller to gain the much-needed momentum flowing into the team. While Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo sealed the victory in the dying seconds, it was the Dragon who set the tone for Miami’s thrilling comeback. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Game 1 started off on a positive note for the Celtics, but ended bitterly. They took an early lead in the game, and never allowed Miami to settle in. Butler was guarded brilliantly, and Bam’s effect was reduced.

In a time when the Heat needed a moment of inspiration, 34-year-old Goran Dragic led the way with a three-pointer from the right-wing. His aggressive approach to the game opened up a lot of avenues for Miami to attack.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

This not only opened the Heat’s account but also got them back into the ballgame. Dragic consistently put up buckets to keep Miami in the game, when the Celtics were threatening to pull away. Dragic ended with 29.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists to go down as the best player in the Heat’s victory. 

Miami Heat veteran Goran Dragic has unleashed himself in the 2020 NBA Playoffs   

Goran Dragic was not really Erik Spoelstra’s first choice starter in the regular season. In fact, Dragic only started three games, as Kendrick Nunn was the go-to guard for Miami. However, the rookie did not impress so much in the seeding games and has been struggling to find his rhythm ever since he recovered from COVID-19. 

Thus, coach Spoelstra had to put faith in the Dragon as a starter, and boy did he step up! Dragic has started all games for Miami in the Playoffs, and has been racking up the points! The veteran is averaging 21.9 points per game in this year’s postseason, with a remarkable 47.1 FG%. He’s only failed to get past the 20.0 point mark thrice in ten games! 

This is so far, his best-ever performance in the Playoffs, and Dragic has thrived under the Heat culture, learning from the best, who made their mark in South Beach. “I feel great, it comes naturally. I’ve learned from a lot of great leaders like Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem, they’re here always talking to me,” Dragic said after the Game 1 victory.

Sep 2, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) celebrates with forward Kelly Olynyk (9) and guard Goran Dragic (7) after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in game two of the second round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at The Field House. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

“I just want to share my knowledge with those young kids and make it a little bit easier for them. The most important thing is that the players and coaching staff trust me so I can be myself”, he mentioned.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Moreover, the Dragon has formed a tremendous partnership with Jimmy Butler this season. Both athletes carry an undying attitude to succeed, which helps their team overcome challenging situations. Jimmy also pumps up Dragic, often calling him with his brother’s name. Zoran Dragic also played in the NBA and for the Heat too!

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Their pairing has been a treat to watch in the Playoffs, and we hope they sustain their brilliance for the intense series that is yet to come! Can Dragic and Butler instill confidence in the young Miami Heat team to fire them up for the challenge that lies ahead?

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Arjun Athreya

1824 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT