Goran Dragic makes EuroBasket All-Tournament team

Posted by on September 23rd, 1:37 pm

Well, now we know. Goran Dragic’s performance for the Slovenian national team at EuroBasket 2013 earned him All-Tournament honors, putting him into the same category as fellow participants Tony Parker, Marc Gasol, Linas Kleiza and Bojan Bogdanovic.

It’s not necessarily surprising in Phoenix, where we’ve seen Dragic step up in big moments. Dragic’s memorable 23-point, fourth-quarter performance against the San Antonio Spurs in that 2010 playoff game lent evidence to his mettle. In his one season back in Phoenix since being traded to the Houston Rockets, Dragic separated himself as the best player on a very poorly-constructed roster.

Yet we haven’t seen Dragic’s reckless, attacking style lead to team success in a large sample size until this summer. The Phoenix Suns point guard very well could have been motivated by playing in front of a Slovenian crowd. Obviously, he wasn’t facing Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, et all every other day as he does in the NBA. And he shot below 40 percent, sometimes getting a bit trigger-happy from deep.

It’s hard to ignore where he took his Slovenian team, however. No, Dragic isn’t the most efficient when he’s forced to be the go-to guy. But it wasn’t as if Dragic was playing out of his own abilities, with the exception of a quaterfinal loss to the eventual champion French team. Through the entirety of EuroBasket, Dragic was a true floor general who led a team to a top-five finish. Slovenia arguably wasn’t a top-five team in terms of collective skillsets or athleticism, either.

For the upcoming season with the Suns, Dragic has a backcourt mate in Eric Bledsoe who can fill some of the many responsibilities that Dragic put on himself last year. He won’t be asked to defend elite point guards, and score, and create for others.

If the system’s right under Jeff Hornacek — and based on how Slovenia played, it will be — Dragic’s best is to come.

When the Suns’ record looks bad this coming season, there are bound to be negative comments tossed his way. It’ll be just like last year. But there are now more bits of evidence that suggest Dragic indeed does more with less.

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of AZDesertSwarm.com, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and Pac-12.com.

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Tags: Goran Dragic

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ty-Sun // Sep 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    There was a good article/interview with Dragic on the ESPN website a day or two ago. Playing with Bledsoe should improve his game. It makes for an undersized back court defensively but both are pesky defenders that should be able to hold their own against everyone except elite players.

  • 2 Scott // Sep 23, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    ^^ I agree. Dragic will also improve Bledsoe’s game.

    FWIW, there’s a new video interview with McD on Suns.com.

    While watching it and seeing shots of Suns in their new home uniforms, I want to repeat that I do like the look of the new home unis in terms of color and front design. It’s just the butt stripe I have a problem with. If they could remove the middle 6-8″ or something, leaving curved stripes going down the sides, it would work better.

  • 3 Jack // Sep 24, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Don’t they just take 1 players from each of the top 5 teams at the games?

    Dragic won’t have made the team had his country finished 6th.

    It’s commendable that he was selected, but let’s not pretend it is anything amazing.

    He likely won’t have made the team if they were allowed to select more than 1 player from each team.

  • 4 Scott // Sep 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    @Jack -

    I don’t know, Jack. Goran did play well, and it was principally his play that caused his team to qualify.

    Dragic deserves the honor of being recognized as an above-average NBA player and a top FIBA player.

    This was also his first year as the leader of his national team.

    As you say, it is commendable.

  • 5 DBreezy // Sep 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    9 days until training camp and it’s as quiet as a mouse, myself included. I guess our expectations have been successfully managed!

  • 6 DBreezy // Sep 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Correction, 6 days. I just read an article from the other day and mindlessly posted the number in it.

  • 7 foreveris2long // Sep 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    DBreezy I saw a good article this morning where someone interviewed Archie Goodwin. However I cannot find tonight. It mentioned Archie’s good summer and how hard he is working to improve his strength, athleticism and skill set. He commented how impressed he was with Bledsoe in the informal workouts. He also gave some love to Len. Near the end of the article he essentially commented he does not have a problem with the teams who did not draft him sooner but they are going to have a problem with him. The author of the article was pretty impressed with Goodwin’s work ethic and maturity.

    I cannot wait for camp to open. Anyone think Plumlee can play quality minutes at the 4 if for some reason Frye does not play at the beginning of the season? I know that will be one of the things I will look at in pre-season.

  • 8 Scott // Sep 24, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    The Goodwin interview is on BSoTS.

    It’s part 1 of 2.

    http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2013/9/24/4765132/phoenix-suns-rookie-archie-goodwin-talks-about-summer-teammates-and

  • 9 DBreezy // Sep 25, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Foreveris,

    I’m definitely ready for camp and I hope they do more of the video stuff they did in the past when they posted videos of practices and scrimmages on Suns.com as I don’t think any of the games are televised. Things could really be behind wraps until the regular season starts depending on the coverage we get.

  • 10 Scott // Sep 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Maybe the assumption is that no one would watch the pre-season games?

    I know I would. At least one or two of them. I’m very curious about the status of the rookies, in particular.

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