Point guard Goran Dragic saw an uptick in his minutes in his second game back from knee surgery, but he insists he’s not ready for his usual workload yet.
After playing 16 minutes during Saturday’s loss to the Pistons in his return from a two-month absence, Dragic totaled 10 points on 5-of-12 shooting in 23 minutes in Monday’s loss to the Suns. There’s still rust in his game, as expected, as he missed three layups against Phoenix.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
“It was better the second game than the first one,” Dragic said after Tuesday’s practice. “I played more minutes, but I felt good. I still need to improve, but, yeah, way better than the first game.”
Is Dragic ready for starter’s minutes?: “Nah, not yet, not yet.”
Coach Erik Spoelstra said around 20 minutes is “the ballpark I’d like to keep him at for now.”
‘But the games will decide it,” Spoelstra said. “Last night’s pace and because of the zone [against Phoenix], I think he could probably have played a couple more and he would have been fine.”
Dragic missed 31 consecutive games after underdoing right knee surgery on Dec. 19. He’s been used in a bench role in both games he’s played in since returning, averaging seven points on 38.9 percent shooting and two assists.
Why did Dwyane Wade decide to play Monday’s game with his hair braided in cornrows for the first time in his NBA career?
“I’m trying my inner-Allen Iverson,” Wade said with a smile.
“There’s a lot of factors. I’ve been growing my hair. I’m growing my hair to do different looks and I decided to do a different look. Once I got it done, I was like, ‘You know what, I’m going to do it in a game.’ I’ve gotten my hair braided like three times in practice, but I haven’t worn it in a game. But I felt I was game ready, so ‘For the Culture.’”
When asked if the cornrows are here to stay, Wade said: “I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”
After playing Monday’s game against the Suns with 11 available players, there’s a good chance the Heat won’t be as shorthanded Wednesday against the Warriors.
Justise Winslow is probable to play against Golden State after missing two games with left knee soreness. Derrick Jones Jr. is also expected to play after missing Monday’s loss with a stomach illness.
Rodney McGruder (bruised right knee) and James Johnson (slight AC sprain in left shoulder) are questionable to play against the Warriors.
This and that
▪ With the Heat’s roster returning to health, forward Emanuel Terry, who signed a 10-day contract Feb. 20, has been returned to the Heat’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls. His 10-day contract expires Friday.
▪ Fox Sports Sun will honor Wade with a “Best of Wade” day. On March 3, the local television home of the Heat will celebrate Wade by airing three of his most memorable performances and it will include pop-ups featuring facts and tidbits about his accomplishments.
The day will begin at 11:30 a.m. with Wade’s 48-point performance in a double-overtime win over the Bulls, which is known for his game-winner at the buzzer and then him getting him on the scorer’s table and yelling, “This is my house!”
The other two games that will be aired will be Wade’s performances in Games 5 and 6 of the 2006 NBA Finals.