Welcome to the Basketball Society’s first annual NBA Top 25 Rankings! Our staff writers have collaborated to create a list of the NBA’s top 25 players based on the 2013-2014 season. Over the next few weeks, that top 25 list will be revealed exclusively on our site with one player being released each day. Today we continue the countdown with writer Martin Soaries (Twitter @marley_mcfly) discussing number 21, Goran Dragic.
21. Goran Dragic – (6’3 G, Phoenix Suns 2008-2011, 2012-)
2013-14 regular season statistics: 20.8 PPG, 4.5 APG, 3.2 RPG, 50.5 FG%, 40.8 3PT FG, 21.4 PER
Dragic was deservingly the NBA’s Most Improved Player after a career-best campaign this past season. The 27-year-old’s well-rounded numbers can speak for themselves, but it’s the efficiency that started to set him apart. He is the first guard since the late Drazen Petrovic to average more than 20 points per game, shoot better than 50 percent from the floor, and hit better than 40 percent from three-point range during the regular season.
By expanding his offensive attack with more consistency, Dragic made a substantial leap as one of the most threatening guards in the league, among many. He can be considered more of a combo guard, especially in Jeff Hornacek’s system that prefers a two-guard set, but he’s always a threat with the basketball in his hands (especially going to his strong left hand).
Dragic elevated his playmaking with an aggressive scoring mindset, and now he’s one of the most dangerous people to defend off the ball screen. His knack, craftiness, and overall abilities are in full effect, and he’s now come along as the successor to Steve Nash.