MIAMI – With Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside having their best seasons as members of the Miami Heat, it’s not a stretch to say despite a 7-14 record, the Heat possess one of the top point guard/center combinations in the game.
Dragic scored his Heat high of 29 points in Tuesday’s 114-103 loss to the Knicks and added seven assists. Whiteside had 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Whiteside continues to lead the league with 14.6 rebounds while averaging 18.0 points. Dragic is 7th with 6.7 assists while averaging 17.8 points.
Dragic has had his best stretch of the season the last five games – since returning from a two game absence because of a strained elbow – averaging 23.4 points, 9.0 assists while shooting 48.3 percent from the floor.
“He’s really in a great groove,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ll just keep him right where he is because he’s playing as high a level as anybody. He’s making so many plays. Intensity of play is a skill and Goran has that. Every single possession he’s laying on the line.”
Whiteside leads the league in rebounds, is third in blocked shots with 2.57 per game and eighth in field goal percentage at .558. Although he is 40th in the league in scoring, among centers he is fifth.
Whiteside was asked how his role changes with the Heat having nine available players on Tuesday and during this road trip that starts tonight in Atlanta.
“Nothing really changes for me,” he said. “I’m going to come out there and still rebound, block shots and score down low.”
Among the other top point guard/center combinations:
The Clippers’ Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan, Washington’s John Wall and Marcin Gortat, Boston’s Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Ricky Rubio, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas, Detroit’s Ish Smith and Andre Drummond, Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder and Dwight Howard.
Only the Heat, Washington and the Clippers have a point guard in the top 10 in assists and center in the top 10 in rebounding.
Dragic and Whiteside are the only combination in the top 10 in assists, rebounds and blocks.
New Orleans’ combination of Anthony Davis and Tim Frazier would at the top of this list for many but Davis is listed as a power forward. Davis leads the league in scoring and blocks and is sixth in rebounding. Frazier is fifth in assists.