NBA / May 11, 2010 / 11:15 am

The Lakers Have To Worry About Goran Dragic

When talks of the League’s top point men in the game come up, the usual names that come to mind are the veterans such as Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Chauncey Billups, Tony Parker, Deron Williams and Chris Paul. There are also the new kids on the block with Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry. After his showing on Friday against the Spurs, is there room to add Goran Dragic to this list?

In Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals matchup, the Suns took a pivotal 3-0 lead over the Spurs. This was thanks in large part to the 26 second half points from the twenty-four year old from Slovenia. What is even more telling than the 26 points scored is the way Dragic went about it. He showed a vast array of skills, including slick moves in the lane, a quick step driving to the rack, a smooth jumper from three-point land and underrated athleticism.

Most of the damage was done with Nash and other stalwarts in witness of the explosive second half. What an amazing luxury it is for Alvin Gentry to be able to rest Nash. After sweeping the Spurs and now preparing for the Lakers, the emergence of Dragic could prove to be pivotal in their Finals quest – think what Shannon Brown meant to the Lakers last year with the added offensive power and youthful energy he provided in their title run.

With the consensus being that the Lake Show will handle business in their journey to a repeat, Dragic could be vital throughout the Western Conference Finals. Veteran Derek Fisher had trouble checking the younger D-Will, and guarding Dragic could prove to be just as big an issue. If Dragic can get off, maybe the Zen Master will have to put Kobe on him (ala Westbrook in the OKC series). Either way, Dragic could pose some headaches for the Lakers.

It may be too early and just a little overreaction for one career night, but the Suns just might be looking at their next franchise point guard once Nash decides to take his crafty game to local pick-up runs. Like Nash, Dragic displays a game that is enjoyable to watch, fitting right into the traditional exciting play down in cactus land. And at 6-4, he also has more size than his teacher. This will allow him to excel in the suddenly tough Suns squad.

At the end of the day, Dragic plays with an infectious spirit that is hard not to like. Maybe it is too early to crown him as the next great young point guard and heir to the Nash throne, but we at least caught a glimpse. Instead of the next Nash, he could end up being the next Beno Udrih.

What do you think? What is Dragic’s ceiling?

Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @Mr_Marshall7.

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  • stefan

    come on now….

  • LakeShow84

    UUUUmmmmmmmmmm no we dont..

  • LakeShow84

    We absorbed a similar game from Korver.. IN UTAH..

  • lakershow

    dragic will not be a problem. he had a good game where he got hot. he is not like westbrook who is a top 7 pointguard.

    nash will be more of a problem. but even against the jazz, deron williams who is arguably the best healthy point guard in the league atm, couldn’t will one game against the lakers.

    fisher is a liability, but he makes his shots. he’s clutch. with the rest of the laker team, you can’t really ask for much more really.

  • The Journeyman

    YEAHHHHH DIME!

    I was thinking the same thing last night watching D-Will play.

    Yeah you have your elite awesome all star point, but what happens when they need the rest??

    And so I was thinking about Friday’s SWEEET game. This kid Dragic is an EXCELLENT fit for the SUNS.

    Sometimes you make an honest assumption that someone will be great (Pre NBA DRAFT NIGHT) like rookies or college players.

    And then there are moments where you see an actual NBA player show a glimpse and you gotta take a chance in saying he will be good

    just my thoughts on paper

  • Trey bing bay

    Tony Delk once scored 50 points in a game….think anyone was worried about him after that!? Nope.

  • JH

    Flash in the pan performance…his play will make a difference in the series but I wouldn’t expect this on the regular from Goran.

  • bookkwormmaster

    I don’t know about him joining that other class of points (1st or 2nd tier) but I do think that he can and will play a big role in whether or not they can upset the Lakers. He needed a game like in Game 3 against the Spurs to get him going. Confidence is an extrordinary thing my friends

  • http://dime eyes

    Before putting anybody on any list. You have to do it consistently for the whole season. I’d take a poor man’s Steve Francis or Chris Paul/Rajon Rondo. Before taking a Rich MAN’S Udrih,Rubio,or Drajic. He also had the luxury of learning from one of the best GUARDS that ever played the game. He’s also been taught by someone seasoned under KJ & Kidd. WOW.

    I’m happy for him & hopefully he keeps it up. Otherwise he’s a fly by night type of talent. You see what happened with Calderon,Udrih & all the other supposed saviors from across seas. Great complimentary players. Rare you find a legit stud in the bunch. It’s not easy to succeed in the L. The question is can he start & be productive while winning.

    Marcus Banks scored almost 50 some points in Summer League. That’s a fluke. He’s the worst guard in the league currently. He & his agent should be ashamed.

  • isotope

    Dime says:
    “It may be too early and just a little overreaction for one career night”

    You think?

  • http://nerditry.com nerditry

    I’d like to see him on the court at the same time as Nash, even for just a few series.

    Same way that the Magic have run Dwight at Gortat at the same time to disrupt when teams go small.

  • TIP

    “immergence”? You mean “emergence”?

    What’s up with dime and the spelling lately?

  • The Journeyman

    @ TIP

    such a loser

  • Petur

    The Suns Have To Worry About Adam Morrison!

  • Clownfish

    @TIP

    Immergence is actually a word. Albeit, completely the wrong word in the context which it is being used. But I digress. this is a basketball website and not a website where the most linguistically gifted elitists come to improve their vocabulary.

  • Justin

    As a Suns fan, I can attest that this isn’t the first time Dragic has shown such promise. He’s still only averaging 18 MPG, but he’s scored in double digits over 25 times this season, including four 20+ point outbursts. He’s had a handful of double digit assist games — averaging 27 minutes in those games. He exploded for 32 points in an (unfortunately) losing effort against the Jazz. Yeah, he’s inconsistent, but so are his minutes still, and he’s playing behind a hall of fame PG.

  • Justin

    And about whether Dragic can be productive and still win: In his only start of the season, Dragic played 40 minutes, scored 16 points, had 10 assists, and 4 rebounds and the Suns edged out the OKC Thunder in a tough game. Small sample size, but still promising to beat playoff competition and put up a nice stat line in your only start.

  • ballin

    the kid’s good but this is a little ridiculous. maybe in the future, but come on now…

  • ballin

    p.s. this reminds me of everyone overreacting to brandon jennings’s 50 point game. people were acting like the ROY award was already decided. too bad it turns out that he’s not even the 2nd best POINT GUARD in his year’s draft (Tyreke Evans and Stephen Curry)

  • isotope

    Rewind about a week and a half ago and switch the name to George Hill and it would make more sense. Now fast-forward to now after the spurs get swept and it’s a joke.

  • JD

    Some peeps need stop moaning on about this topic – we’ll see what happen in due time – sigh…

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    @Trey bing bay

    Great Tony Buckets name drop. Dude could shoot!

    @TIP

    You’re right! It’s not the misspellings, but the similar words. Our bad! Late West Coast games take their toll. Won’t happen again.

    Lastly, no one is overreacting. Dragic can play. Albeit not like this every night, but it’s definitely worth talking about. Before the season, the Suns were not ready to hand over the future to this kid. Maybe now they’ll be a little more open to it.

  • sharm

    better watch out!! we laker fans have mbenga!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • s.bucketz

    I wasn’t that shocked by Dragic’s crazy game the other day…i’m more shocked that a dime writer put Rajon Rondo in that class of “up and coming PGs” and not in “the greatest PG of all time…slurp slurp” class.

  • BUDZ

    NO, it is not definitely worth talking about.

    he got lucky that night. he got some skills but i doubt the lakers will even mention him in their game plans.

    waste of space.

  • control

    Aron

    Don’t say something like “won’t happen again”. Everyone knows it will, but it really don’t mean shit since it’s all about the solid content, not the exact formatting in which it is delivered.

  • K Dizzle

    I’m more concerned about Channing Frye than Dragic…

  • Big T

    This is the dumbest article I’ve ever seen. Do you even watch the games or just check out the statline after they’re done? Saying the Lakers should worry about Dragic is jokes…

  • barius

    You’re kidding us right? He’s freaking puny. His “magnificent” performance in Game 3 is an anomaly; he couldn’t even follow it up in Game 4. Look how lazily the Spurs were guarding him in the highlights you posted. That layup under DeJuan Blair’s idle hands was not impressive, and it’s certainly not going to happen against a lanky 7’1″ PF in Gasol.

    This series has 4-0, 4-1 written all over it. Everything else is window dressing to help keep fans interested.

  • barius

    If the Suns beat LA it’s going to be because they’re hitting jumpshots. This team doesn’t have a chance in a toe-to-toe battle under the basket unless Amar’e and guys like Jarron Collins/Robin Lopez find a way to bully Gasol and Bynum without getting into quick foul trouble. Nash and Dragic like to dribble-drive in seemingly wild attempts to create separation, and then dish the ball to their bigs. Sorry Phoenix, but this isn’t Portland, and it’s not San Antonio. The lanes are gonna be too clogged with the Laker bigs for that bs to work, even if Fisher is screened into oblivion. As I said, it’ll come down to a bunch of jumpshots for Phoenix.

    Basically the Suns largest advantage is depth. Even then, the Lakers can match them on a good night with Shannon Brown, Luke Walton, Lamar Odom, Jordan Farmar, and the like. I think the onus in the game is on the bench to get some easy fast-break points. Guys like Shannon Brown need to get out in transition and make it easier for the Lakers to score, particularly when Nash starts to go on a run. The Suns tend to play great defense once their offense gets going.

    Then again, we won’t know the true tenor of this series until games 1 and 2 in Staples.

  • Bizz

    The Lakers can put out a lineup that is a minimum 6ft 6 inches tall…very much doubt Goran Dragic is gonna make Ron Artest worry on the defensive end, much less the rest of the Lakers. They just swept the Jazz…Lakers are on a high of confidence right now. If anything, they may need to worry about Amar’e having a career series, but to worry about Dragic…that’s Tragic lmao

  • the cynic

    Fyre and Drajic will not be a factor against the lakers. Lakers aren’t the Spurs

  • Big T

    Please just delete this article off the website. This shit is just ridiculous.

  • Suns Fan Ryan

    You lakers fans all think the Suns are a joke. Our bench will eat your second unit alive.

    Everyone thinks the Lakers are gonna kill the Suns but this is a strong defensive team with unlimited weapons.

    Prepare for the upset Lakers fans so you can listent to Kobe wine all summer about making the Lakers better.

  • Bizz

    May 11th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Suns Fan Ryan says:

    You lakers fans all think the Suns are a joke. Our bench will eat your second unit alive.

    Everyone thinks the Lakers are gonna kill the Suns but this is a strong defensive team with unlimited weapons.

    Prepare for the upset Lakers fans so you can listent to Kobe wine all summer about making the Lakers better.

    ^^^^PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Dime, make those quotes it’s own article after the Lakers beat the Suns. Suns are a strong defensive team? From 1 series this claim is being made? Unlimited weapons? Unlimited meaning what, that Robin Lopez and Jarrod Collins can hit turnaround fadeaway 3′s? And what makes you think that the Lakers bench, outside of Odom is going to be on the court for large periods of time? How about Kobe eats your bench alive, next topic.

  • Roman

    Really- this is the best you could come up with. At least say Amare’ or Nash.

  • Big T

    Strong defensive team with unlimited weapons…. holy shit, I can’t stop laughing at that comment about the Suns. That comment is almost more ridiculous than the overall scope of this post.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Suns Fan Ryan

    This is payback time.. Us fans are joking and laughing but best believe THE Lakers remember those early playoff exits in 06 & 07.. And best believe if they dont remember PHIL will remind them for extra motivation..

    Your guys’s best bet is to be quiet and not awaken the Giant..

    But since the Suns are already in the way of much needed rest for whoever comes out the East it wont matter.. Suns will be lucky to push it 6.. Im callin a sweep..

    Oh and we get a week off before it even starts?? KOBE GETS TO REST THAT KNEE?? Yeah its looking real good Phoenix Fans..

  • Claw

    @Lakeshow84
    Its been awhile in posting, this actually working shit is BS!

    Cmon now, there will be no sweep. I called the OK series and I’m nailing this one. I think this goes 7 and each team wins on their home court. Suns nail the 3s at home, so have your bigs in the middle, I’d rather have 3 then 2.

    Going Old Schoolhouse Rock – 3 is the Magic number!

    But damn, if they pull one out in LA, this gets interesting. The bigs will kill them, how is Frye going to handle Bynum? It’s sad when you hope Robin Lopez is back in time for the series.

  • sh!tfaced

    Dragic? Let’s how he handles it not coming out of nowhere first. It isn’t as easy to have a surpise game when you have an actual scouting report on you.

  • changster

    “And at 6-4, he also has more size than his teacher.”

    Hey Jonathan Marshall did you see the video clip? Nash gives Dragic a hug and they’re the same size.. they’re also both listed at 6’3″ on their nba.com player profiles so I’m not sure where you got that one from but you need to put the pipe down.

  • http://Dime Jonathan

    Hey guys I think you all are taking this post the wrong way…in no way are we crowning Dragic. This was simply to put a topic out there to stir up some talk and I think we did just that. I respect all of your opinions, so at least respect the writers’.

  • A.R.

    Uhm really? He had ONE good game. I’m not even gonna dignify this with a reply.

  • bubs

    ^ smooth move dumbass u just replied to the article.

  • sunshine

    LA have ‘sheshe’ to worry about that…

    prediction: ‘machine’ will look silly and broken again