Goran Dragic has been listed as doubtful for Game 6 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. The veteran point guard has not played since tearing his left plantar fascia in Game 1 of the series, and though he's tested the injury at various points in recent days, he hasn't been able to go. At this point, he's on pace to miss the remainder of the series.
Dragic's injury is devastating to the Heat on several levels. Despite coming off 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 been so inconsistent in this series. While he put together solid performances in Games 1 and 5, Nunn was nowhere to be found in Games 2-4.
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 37.7 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, and a historic 35-point triple-double in Game 5, but no one player is good enough to beat the Lakers on his own.
The good news for Miami is that Bam Adebayo is back in the lineup after missing Games 2 and 3 with a neck injury. 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.