Give-and-Go: Goran Dragic’s Shooting Revival

Insight6 years ago3 min readGiancarlo Navas

Welcome to Give-and-Go! This is a series where I’ll be pointing out some interesting numbers about the Heat in an easy, visual and digestible way. So, lots of pretty graphs and gifs. Yay, technology!

It’s always going to be short, so think of this as something you’d read when grabbing a coffee or waiting in line. Credit to @Heat_CM for coming up with the awesome name.

So here we are four games into the season and Goran Dragic is suddenly a really good shooter again. It seems weird because by the eye it looks like Dragic is getting many similar shots as last season where he shot only 31% from 3.

So what gives? Where did his resurgence come from? Let’s first take a quick look by season of what kinds of threes Goran was taking this season, last season and his breakout season with Phoenix.

While there is some variance the shot distribution, each season has a similar look. By far his best shooting year was in his 2013-14 season where he shot 40% from three. This season in the small sample we have, Dragic has made 52% of his 21 threes so far. Despite the sample being so small it’s interesting to see how similar his shot distribution is compared to entire seasons.

Another aspect to look at is the quality of shot he is getting. In the 2013-14 season, 215 of Dragics 299 total threes were considered “open” (which means without a defender within four feet of the field goal attempt). Last season Dragic has 177 of his 205 threes considered open and this season 14 of his 21 have been open.

All this just to show how Dragic is consistently getting open looks and each season he is taking the same types of shots. If nothing else he is very consistent. In the end it comes to down to making or missing. Last season Dragic shot under 30% on open threes and in his breakout Phoenix year he shot 44% on those shots.

Part of it is the randomness of sports and others can be outside variables like, shape, mental state or even environment. What is important to note is that it appears that his shooting woes from last season weren’t schematic failures as Dragic has succeeded taking similar types of threes in the past, they so happened to not fall last season. Perhaps it is even Miami’s newly hired shooting coach.

It is promising to know that Dragic is getting good and make able shots and while his over 50% shooting from three this season isn’t sustainable, it will likely regress to a percentage that is still very good.