Mar 18, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) handles the ball against Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash (10) in the first half at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Goran Dragic's Playmaking Potential

 

Despite the Phoenix Suns recent fan-depressing struggles, there has been a few sliver-linings other than the obvious potential of the Suns excellent draft position this June. Goran Dragic’s play since the all-star has been one of the few bright spots for the Suns during this dreadful season.

Midway through the season many Suns fans were bashing Dragic’s passing ability like Robert Horry bashing Steve Nash into the announcer’s table in 2007. “He just doesn’t know how to pass the (expletive) ball! Every time he attempts a bounce pass it’s a (expletive) turnover!” One Suns fan said in an angry tone…

Dragic’s passing display throughout the first-half of the season was relatively unimpressive to say the least. In the first-half of the season, Dragic averaged just 6.3 assist per game and had three games where he had only one assist.

Since the all-star, Dragic has flipped the script. In the 16 games since the all-star break, Dragic is averaging 9.3 assists per game and has dished out double-digit assists in 10 games including his 18 assist game to kick-off the second half of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers on February 19th. 

Now, that may not be Steve Nash like but it’s a solid improvement given the fact that Dragic dished out double-digit assists on only four occasions before the all-star break(51 games).

Dragic seem to be much more comfortable being the distributor as opposed to earlier in the season. He’s far quicker and more decisive in his decision making, and he’s also abandoned the fear of attempting a tough pass which is reflected in all those fancy between the leg, dazzling bounce passes we are seeing more  from the Dragon.

What’s even more impressive is that Dragic has not slowed down even after losing Marcin Gortat who’s arguably Dragic’s number one target on offense.

Prior to Dragic coming to Phoenix this past summer everyone knew about Dragic’s ability to attack the rim and get into the paint, but many were skeptical about his ability to run an offense. He’s proving his skeptics wrong with his second half play.

The Swan Song may be spinning on the record player for the Phoenix Suns 2012-2013 season, but Dragic’s great improvement is something the Suns and Planet Orange can feel good about moving forward.

The fact that the Suns coaching staff now knows that if they put good players around Dragic, he’ll be able to get them the basketball. Now it’s up to the Phoenix Suns front office to surround players like Goran Dragic with better talent next season. Otto Porter? Or perhaps Victor Oladipo? Only time will tell….

 

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