Heat’s Dragic active for Game 6 vs. Lakers

  • Staff Writer
  • Joined ESPN in 2018
  • Appears regularly on ESPN Chicago 1000

LAKE BUENA VISTA — As the Heat huddled up before taking the court for Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Jae Crowder turned to Goran Dragic and slapped him on the backside.

“Welcome back, bro,” Crowder said.

For the first time since tearing the plantar fascia in his left foot in Game 1 of the Finals, Dragic was listed as active. The guard participated in layup lines ahead of the game, but whether or not he plays in the game depends on how he feels afterward.

Even though Dragic has not played in the past four games, coach Erik Spoelstra said that he has stayed “incredibly involved.”

“You have to notice on the bench what kind of leader he is,” Spoelstra said. “He wants to be out there with his heart and soul, but his body will tell him whether he can do it or not. Either way, he’s going to make an impact.”

In the meantime, the Heat are sticking with the same starting line up of Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Bam Adebayo and Crowder.

Dragic was determined to find a way to play in the series, and a source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Dragic’s injury can’t worsen by playing. However, the pain has been extreme and he hadn’t been able to put much pressure on the foot, Wojnarowski reported.

Dragic attempted to warm up ahead of Game 4, but sources say that the pain he experienced attempting to get down in a defensive stance proved to be too much and he was subsequently ruled out.

As Dragic nailed a corner 3 ahead of Sunday’s tip, teammate Meyers Leonard yelled: “There he is!”

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