Observations and other notes of interest from Friday night’s 107-106 loss to the Washington Wizards:

– Understand, it was just two weeks ago that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was speaking about the possibility of sending Nikola Jovic to the G League for playing time and seasoning.

– And then opportunity arrived in the form of injuries to others.

– Now, there is little doubt that at 19, and yet to graduate high school, the No. 27 pick in June’s NBA draft belongs.

– Friday, with just about anybody and everybody sidelined, there was little option but to cede time to Jovic as a starter.

– (Who said at the morning shootaround that he still has yet to get around to that pesky on-line high school final needed to graduate.)

– And for the second consecutive game in the absence of Bam Adebayo, Jovic produced.

– Working his way to the foul line like a veteran.

– But if a rotation role, then where?

– Consider that even with Jovic on the court, coach Spoelstra also had Orlando Robinson out there alongside at times.

– And, in the end, Robinson was the choice as closer because of his bulk.

– So if Jovic is not a center, can he take the rotation role of Dewayne Dedmon?

– Or is Dedmon’s muscle needed?

– One option could be Duncan Robinson’s minutes, as limited as they have been.

– No matter, Sioux Falls may have to wait.

– With it likely to remain South Florida instead of South Dakota.

– The kid stuff has been impressive and encouraging this week.

– Of yet another start for Jovic, Spoelstra said pregame, “He picks up things quickly and he also has pride in what he does. He wants to do it right. He wants to be reliable for his team.”

– So, to recap, for the Heat there was no Adebayo, Dedmon, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Gabe Vincent, Victor Oladipo or Omer Yurtseven.

– All dealing with injuries.

– And no Udonis Haslem due to a personal matter.

– So . . . the Heat rolled out a starting lineup of Jovic, Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith, Max Strus and Kyle Lowry.

– Highsmith, who during training camp had been considered a rotation prospect, had not appeared in eight of the previous 10 games, largely limited to mop-up duty.

– That left two-way contract players Jamal Cain and Orlando Robinson as the only available reserves.

– Strus’ third 3-point attempt moved him past Kendrick Nunn for 20th on …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Winderman’s view: Even in loss, another Nikola Jovic step . . . to a Heat rotation role?

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