As well chronicled as the Phoenix Sun’s meteoric rise has been, I don’t think people are appreciating just how good their talented point guard has been. Because he’s been really, really, good. Eric Bledsoe’s injury has placed a disproportionate share of the burden on Dragic’s shoulders and the lefty marksman has delivered in spades.
Despite there being ~24 games left in the season, Dragic “simple rating” (essentially an overall measure of a players performance that accumulates over the season) is a whopping +11.3; to put that in perspective LeBron’s is +13.1. Thing is people don’t mention Dragic in the same sentence when they talk about LeBron, but if this keeps up they might have to start. Defensively he’s holding PG to a 14.9 PER (league average) and cases where he’s on the opposing SG the average drops to 9.3. All in all he’s a good defender whose size allows him to excel in cross-matchup situations.
What has made Dragic a Top 5 PG in the NBA this season (yeah, I said it) is the evolution of his offensive game. Take a look at his shot chart on the right below with the accompanying FG% from each each area of the floor on the left.
The man flat out get’s buckets, and he does it efficiently too. Dragic is taking ~72% of shots either at the rim or from behind the arc which helps to maximize the value of each of his touches. It should come as no suprise that his TS% of 61.5 is 4th among all guards in the NBA this season. Somehow his career high USG of 24.6 has results in a career low turnover rate (11.3) and a career high PER (22.81). He also draws four shooting fouls per 48 minutes which just adds to his efficiency.
It remains to be seen how Bledsoe’s return to the lineup will affect Dragic’s numbers, but if this play so far is any indication, not much can stop the Dragon these days.