2016 NBA playoffs: Tooth knocked out, Goran Dragic to wear mouthguard

Goran Dragic will try this mouthguard tonight against the Hornets. (Palm Beach Post photo)
Goran Dragic will try this mouthguard tonight against the Hornets. (Palm Beach Post photo)

Most people are uncomfortable getting their teeth knocked out, but Heat point guard Goran Dragic has been at this for years.

Dragic lost one when his brother (presumably Zoran) hit him in the mouth with a stick as a child and has continued losing them well into adulthood. It’s so routine that when he got one knocked out in Detroit on Tuesday, his doctor in Miami already had the replacement queued up.

“Last time I was there they took my color and matched it with those other teeth, so they already had one ready,” he said. “They knew I was coming. They said, ‘Hey you made my job easier because the tooth is already gone.’”

The main issue the past few days has been sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, but other than that it hasn’t bothered him.

Two interesting notes: 1. Both times Dragic got a tooth knocked out this season, he did not draw a foul (he was whistled for a foul on one of them, in fact) and 2. He had the tooth replaced within 24 hours of returning to South Florida.

“I want to look good and smile on TV, man,” he said.

Both of the teeth that he lost were replacements anyway. Dragic has had at least five teeth knocked out playing basketball (perhaps some went missing in other situations), and his front six are all fake at this point.

Oddly, he’s never opted for a mouthguard — he says he can’t breathe well with it — until now. He tried it out during today’s practice and planned to give it a shot when the Heat open the playoffs Sunday.

“I don’t guarantee I’m going to wear it the whole game,” he said.

On a more serious note, Dragic will keep wearing the compression sleeve on his (shooting) arm with a thick pad over his elbow. He’s had tendinitis in the elbow for a while and is concerned that he might have bursitis as well.

“I’m taking pills, so it feels OK,” he said. “The main thing is just to protect it. Half of the possession I’m on the floor, so protecting it is the main thing.”

[2016 NBA playoffs: Hornets still shook by Whiteside’s blocked shots]

[2016 NBA playoffs: Who are “they” and why don’t “they” want the Heat to win?]

[2016 NBA playoffs: A player-by-player look at the Miami Heat’s experience]

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