The question isn’t whether or not Goran Dragic has played like an All-Star this year, but rather, will he actually make it? There is not a doubt that Goran Dragic has elevated his game and played like an All-Star throughout the year, and here’s why.
Goran Dragic is in the exclusive 19-point, six-assist, and 49-percent club. It’s actually not a club, as the only other player to exceed those totals are the king himself, LeBron James. I think that’s some pretty good company.
The Phoenix Suns are sitting at 26-18 and are the 6th seed in the Western Conference here in January, just like everyone expected.
Hopefully you detected my sarcasm there, as many people were sold on the Suns finishing as one of the worst teams in the NBA this year. Not even the biggest Suns enthusiast could’ve envisioned this magical season.
Sure, Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee, Markieff Morris and Channing Frye have all exceeded everyone’s expectations, but the guy that really makes this team go is the “Dragon” Goran Dragic. Goran is undoubtably the team’s Most Valuable Player, with all due respect to the injured Eric Bledsoe.
Consistency has been the key to his breakout year. Dragic has always been a very solid player, but just couldn’t get over that hump of being labeled “good but not elite”. This year things have certainly changed, he has taken his game to another level.
I don’t know how many more star PG’s he has to outplay before people will start to recognize that this guy is legit. He has a competitive drive that his team feeds off of, and his fearlessness is another one of his qualities that make him a joy to watch day in and day out.
Another thing you may not know about Goran, is that he is a top-level defender for his position. He gets in the passing lanes, forces turnovers, contests shots and puts on a lot of ball pressure his opponent. He is scrappy and ultra-competitive. If I had one word I could use to describe Dragic it would be this: Competitive.
The only other Phoenix Sun that I can remember to spill more blood on the court than Goran is the former 2-time MVP, Steve Nash.
I know the Western Conference is absolutely loaded with guards, but when it comes down to it, he will need to beat out guys like Mike Conley, Tony Parker, Isaiah Thomas and Damian Lillard for one of those reserve spots. The reason I give him an edge over Conley and Thomas is solely because of team success.
The Kings and Grizzlies both sit behind the Suns in the Western Conference, and have arguably more talent surrounding their respective PG’s. That was the only logical tie-breaker (minus a few slight edges to Goran in efficiency and PER) since all three guards are so similar statistically.
By the numbers
Dragic, Lillard and Parker are all on winning teams, so this is where individuals statistics come into play. Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul are all injured, so if all three decide to sit it out then these would be the three I’d select to replace them.
If two of those three sit out (which is more likely) then there’d be a tough decision to be made.
Goran Dragic- 19.4 points, 6.1 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game with 49.5 percent shooting.
Tony Parker- 18.1 points, 6.3 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and 0.5 steals per game with 51.4 percent shooting.
Damian Lillard- 20.6 points, 5.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.7 steals per game with 41.7 percent shooting.
I’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves.
Goran Dragic said he’d “probably cry or something” if he indeed does get selected, as it’s been a life-long dream for him to make it to the All-Star game and he never imagined it being a possibility when he arrived from Slovenia. Making an extra million dollars wouldn’t hurt, either.
He’s certainly worthy of the selection, and we will find out tomorrow night whether or not he gets selected by the Western Conference coaches as a reserve. If he doesn’t, then he still has a shot to get chosen by the commissioner as a replacement for one of the injured guards.
No matter what the final outcome is, Goran Dragic is certainly playing like an All-Star, and if the rest of the world fails to recognize this then they are missing out on a very exciting player.