Miami has missed the quickness of Goran Dragic this series, his ability to penetrate into the paint and push the ball in transition (plus he’s another threat from three).
The Heat will get that back for Game 6 — Dragic is active.
He is not starting, and it’s unclear how much time he will see on the court. Dragic suffered a torn plantar fascia in his foot in the first half of Game 1 and has been sidelined ever since, but has been eager to get back on the court in his first Finals.
Just having him available is an emotional boost for Miami.
“He’s still been incredibly involved,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said pregame of the impact of Dragic on the team (Spoelstra would not say at the time if Dragic was active or might play). “You just have to notice on the bench what kind of leader he is. He wants to be out there with his heart and soul, but his body will tell him whether he can do it or not. Either way, he’s going to make an impact.”
If Dragic’s foot is hurting and he can’t move well, the Lakers will target his defense in the pick-and-roll. Also, the explosive quickness the Heat need from him may not be there. Spoelstra is willing to give Dragic a chance to prove he can contribute, but in an elimination game for the Heat it has to be a short leash.
However, if Dragic can play and contribute, it would be a huge boost for the Heat as they try to force a Game 7.