The Heat were believed to be somewhat assured of a playoff spot for the bulk of the season, in what has been a watered-down Eastern Conference.
With just seven games left on the schedule, however, the team finds itself barely clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot.
Miami has dropped three of four, and may now see Dwyane Wade miss some time. This should be when Goran Dragic, whom the team traded for at the deadline, steps up and carries his club to a successful regular season finish.
But Dragic is wearing down at this late point in the season, and it’s unclear whether or not he’ll be able to find the gear he needs to help drag the Heat over the finish line and into the postseason.
Dragic has been feeling “slow” for a month now, though he was not visibly off until recently. This is not even about the numbers he has been putting up, which are not good, but how he looks and feels.
“It’s like I cannot develop my speed and get going,” he said. …
Since putting up a big game in Boston last week, Dragic has averaged nine points, 4.5 assists and three turnovers in 33.5 minutes over the last four games. He is shooting 35.6 percent, including 4 of 13 on 3-pointers.
An interesting subplot to all of this is what might happen between Dragic and the Heat this summer, should he bring the season to an underwhelming finish.
Miami traded for Dragic with the intent of re-signing him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. But if the team is less than thrilled with the way he’s seemingly breaking down at this critical time, the offer may not be as robust, which could enable Dragic to sign somewhere else.