Goran Dragic will miss Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Dragic has not played since tearing his left plantar fascia in Game 1 of the series. He tested the injury in warmups before Game 4 of the Finals, but ultimately could not go, and now, with the Lakers only a victory away from the championship, may wind up missing almost the entire series due to this injury.
Dragic’s injury is devastating to the Heat on several levels. Despite coming off of the bench for most of the regular season, Dragic returned to the startling lineup and averaged 20.9 points per game in the first three rounds of the postseason. That missing production is important, but it is exacerbated by the fact that Kendrick Nunn, who he replaced in the starting lineup, has struggled so mightily in his place this series. After a hot start in Game 1, he is only 7-for-21 from the field in the past three games.
Tyler Herro has claimed Dragic’s spot in the starting lineup this series, but he hasn’t exactly thrived in a bigger role either. He is shooting just 37.9 percent from the field in the Finals as the Lakers have forced him into a number of ugly shot attempts. That has placed an inordinate burden on Jimmy Butler to create offense for Miami. He has done so brilliantly, including during a 40-point Game 3 masterpiece, but no one player is good enough to beat the Lakers on his own.
The good news for Miami is that Bam Adebayo had a strong return to the lineup in Game 4. Their offense may need work, but the Heat defense is back in top form. Without Dragic, that is how they will need to stay alive in this series.
Courtesy: CBS Sports