Storyline: Wade-Dragic Dynamic

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Dragic said he will pick his spots late in games when Wade returns. “It will be the same me,” Dragic said of his late-game approach with Wade back. “That’s the best way to put it. Be me and try to help the team. We understand the only thing that matters is winning. Whoever has the better matchup or better shot, that guy is going to take it. We need to be smart about it. It depends which player you have on you. When we played against Denver, they put [Wilson] Chandler on me. He’s fast, he’s big. That’s why we went to other guys.”

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The next step is keeping Dragic at this level and getting Wade back, after Dragic initially had deferred upon Wade’s return at the Feb. 8 NBA trading deadline. Wade has been dealing with a balky hamstring but was able to work out during the trip. “He’s been playing like that for a while — and even with Dwyane,” Spoelstra said of Dragic, with the Heat now off until Monday’s game against the Denver Nuggets at the start of a two-game homestand at AmericanAirlines Arena. “And we need Dwyane and Goran playing at an extremely high level, both of them, at the same time. “Before Dwyane got hurt, I loved where our team was offensively. We had great balance and I’m sure it was probably on opponents’ minds, ‘How are we going to prepare? OK, we have to cover Dwyane, [Wayne] Ellington and down the line.’ “

Goran Dragic downplays any notion that he and Dwyane Wade cannot thrive in the same backcourt. The two started alongside each other for a year and a half after Dragic was acquired from the Suns in February 2014. Dragic averaged 14.8 points in the 98 regular season games, including 14.1 points in 2015-16, his lowest output in six seasons in his only full season with Wade. Dragic, though, said it took time to learn how to play with several unfamiliar faces after joining Miami.
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May 25, 2018 | 3:56 pm EDT Update