Coming into the 2012-2013 NBA season, the Phoenix Suns had put a pretty good deal of stock into Goran Dragic for this year and for years to come. Phoenix wanted the 26-year old point guard to be one of the cornerstones for their rebuilding franchise. That plan has started pretty solidly.
On the year, Dragic has averaged 14.2 points, 6.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. He leads the Suns in both the points and assists categories. Dragic has also shot the ball at 43.5 percent from the field and 31.2 percent from three.
However, in Phoenix’s seven games since the All-Star break, Dragic has seen an increase in minutes and, in turn, an increase in his production.
Over his past seven games, Dragic has seen the floor for 38.1 minutes per game, up from the 32.3 minutes he averaged through his first 51 games of the season. With more minutes, he’s averaged 15.3 points, 10.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. However, he’s only shot the ball at 40.4 percent from the floor and 30.3 percent from three.
As the Suns sit at 21-39, it feels pretty safe to say that their season is essentially over. Given that, they need to continue to give Dragic this increased workload.
One thing that needs to change, though, is the amount of shots that Dragic is taking. If you’re the Suns, the 10.7 assists that he’s averaged over the past two weeks or so is exactly the type of play you want to see from him, but the 14.1 shot attempts per game is a bit high.
Obviously, this Phoenix team is a mess right now and Dragic is trying to do what he can to help them win basketball games. But with any kind of real success this season being out of reach, it would make more sense for him to continue to develop as a facilitator on offense rather than a high-volume shooter that shoots the ball at a poor percentage. That’s not what the Suns want or need him to be.
In the remaining month and a half of this season, the Suns and interim head coach Lindsey Hunter should continue to utilize Dragic as much as they have, but try and work their offense so that Dragic isn’t the primary shooting option. It might not make a whole lot of difference now, but it will benefit them a great deal down the road.