Hornacek, Lowe Rave About Dragic in Transition

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If you want to gauge Goran Dragic’s importance to this year’s team, there’s no shortage of evidence. We broke down last week how the Suns point guard made “the leap”, going from solid starter to a borderline elite player this season.

Jeff Hornacek and Grantland.com’s Zach Lowe added more to the heap of verbal awards for Dragic this season. After being asked about his star guard’s career year, Hornacek pointed to the area he stresses most: the fast break game.

“He’s done a fantastic job of attacking, pushing the ball,” Hornacek said. “We’ve scored a lot of points with him getting the ball and taking off up the court. He’s trying to get that uptempo style that we’re wanting for our team.”

Phoenix’s return to running – and running well – has been well documented. But both Hornacek and Lowe – who lauded Dragic in his recent piece – realize none of that happens without Dragic, especially while Eric Bledsoe is out with injury.

“The man is fearless and creative, with an endless reservoir of fakes, change-of-pace dribbles, lower-the-shoulder space-clearing bumps, and crazy scoop finishes at the basket. He is, for now, the new king of the one-man fast break.”

High praise, especially considering the amount of elite athletes in the league who thrive in transition.

Yet Lowe’s claim is not without the needed proof to back it up. Dragic ranks fifth in the league in individual fast break points per game (5.4), only behind the names that usually come to mind: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, John Wall, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Out of that group of six, Dragic ranks third in points in the paint (8.1), third in shooting (50.8 percent) and fourth in fouls drawn per contest (5.0).

“We wouldn’t be where we’re at today without him,” Hornacek said.