It’s fitting that Goran Dragic plays for the Phoenix Suns, because lately he’s been hotter than just about any other player in fantasy basketball. The Suns point guard began the new year on fire and has not slowed down, landing a choice spot in the top five of my latest point guard rankings.
The Suns are easily the surprise of the 2013-14 NBA season. Picked to finish in the bottom five of the league, they have shot their way to a 30-20 record and now sit as the sixth seed in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. As a team, they’re knocking down 45.9 percent of their field goals and 36.9 percent of their 3-pointers — good for eighth and ninth in the league, respectively. Dragic has played a major role in getting those numbers into the top 10.
When Eric Bledsoe tore his meniscus on December 30, nearly every basketball pundit expected the Suns season to go in the tank, but Dragic — along with some help from Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker, Channing Frye and the Morris Twins — has been the anchor keeping this ship afloat. Since January 2, the 27-year-old Yugoslavian has led the Suns to an 11-9 record, averaging 23.2 points, 6.4 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 2.0 3-pointers in the process. He’s also shot 54.3 percent from the field and 48.8 percent from 3-point territory during that stretch, making him the 15th-ranked player on Basketball Monster.com over the past month.
The All-Star reserves were selected by coaches on Jan. 30, but Dragic’s name was nowhere to be found. As one of the game’s most talked about snubs, Dragic is certainly making a case to be an injury replacement.
Dragic followed up his exclusion by winning Western Conference Player of the Week (Jan. 27-Feb. 2). During that week he led the Suns to a 4-0 record, with three of those wins coming on the road.
He may not yet be a household name, but Goran Dragic is a legitimate MVP candidate on a team that has easily surpassed any preseason projections. If Bledsoe can return post-break, or if the Suns can pull off a big trade, they will be a team to be reckoned with in the playoffs. None of this, though, would even be possible without Dragic bringing his All-Star-caliber play to the court.
The return of Chris Paul may have brought him down one notch, but owners can’t complain about Dragic clocking in as the No. 4 point guard in my latest fantasy basketball player rankings: