The Miami Heat are down 2-1 in their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup against the Toronto Raptors. The Heat lost a close one in Game 3 with head coach Erik Spoelstra benching point guard Goran Dragic in the final minute.
According to the latest NBA rumors in Miami, Dragic was not thrilled about the coach’s decision to leave him on the bench. He was never inserted back to the game after getting benched following his fifth foul with about five minutes left.
Dragic watched Miami’s final play from the bench as a Dwyane Wade drive resulted to an open three for Joe Johnson, but the seven-time All-Star missed the shot at the top of the key. The miss resulted in a 95-91 win for the Raptors as they regained their homecourt advantage with a 2-1 series lead.
Related NBA Rumors: Heat star Chris Bosh may be forced to retire due to health condition
“It’s not fun. Of course, I would like to be (in the game), but that’s a coaching decision, so I respect it. It is what it is,” Dragic told ESPN after the game.
“Every play was for (Wade); we felt like he had the hot hand, and he was demonstrating that. He made some tough shots. He was our main guy. It was nice to see him rolling like that, but we need somebody to be with him too.”
The Slovenia native also mentioned that he will be talking to coach Spoelstra regarding his benching. He was not given an explanation by his coach during or after the game.
ESPN speculated on some of the reasons why Spoelstra benched Dragic in the final minute of Game 3. Wade was having a monster game with 38 points or the coach did not trust his 30-year-old point guard shooting threes.
Other NBA Rumors: Jimmy Butler unhappy with Bulls GM; Celtics trade imminent?
However, Dragic is shooting 44.4 percent from the arc in the playoffs and he hit two clutch three-pointers in Game 1 and 2. When the media asked Spoelstra about his decision to bench Dragic, he replied, “Not really.”
The Heat signed Dragic to a five-year, $85 million deal last offseason to be their starting point guard. Game 4 between the Heat and Raptors will be on Monday, 8 p.m. at the American Airlines Arena.
Photo Courtesy: reddenoticias/Flickr