BOSTON — Goran Dragic didn’t feel like himself in Thursday’s loss to the Hornets.
That was clear. The Heat’s starting point guard toughed it out through a sore back to finish with five points on 2-of-11 shooting, three rebounds and eight assists in 32 minutes.
“Goran probably shouldn’t have been out there,” coach Erik Spoelstra said after Thursday’s game. “He just really wanted to be out there for his team and you could clearly see he wasn’t moving the way he normally does. He was probably at 50 percent, if that.”
And Dragic won’t be out there Friday against the Celtics. He will sit out the contest on the second night of a back-to-back.
Dragic said he suffered the back injury on Dec. 20 against Orlando and “tweaked” it last Friday in New Orleans when he went to do a Euro-step. The back spasms forced Dragic to miss one game – Miami’s loss to Oklahoma City on Tuesday – before he returned Thursday in Charlotte.
“It was interesting,” Dragic said of playing with a sore back against the Hornets. “It’s a weird feeling when the back tightens up. You can’t really explode. I was not moving the best. It was tough, but I tried to give it a go, tried to be on the floor, but everything was not good at all.”
Dragic missed all three of his shots that came from inside the paint Thursday. That’s a clear sign the 30-year-old’s game is being affected by his back injury, as he’s shooting 52.8 percent from inside the paint this season.
“It doesn’t make sense [to play] if I can’t do my job,” Dragic said Thursday night. “I like to penetrate. I like to play fast. It’s kind of like taking my game away. It’s tough. I’m a competitive guy. It’s tough. I like to be with the guys.”