Miami Heat: Nikola Jovic leaves impression in second preseason game

Nikola Jovic #5 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at FTX Arena(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Nikola Jovic #5 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day at FTX Arena(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat continued their run toward the beginning of the regular season on Thursday night with a preseason matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. Coming into the game without several of their key guys going, they would rely on everyone else to get the job done.

Without Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo, Gabe Vincent, Caleb Martin, and Dewayne Dedmon going, this would be the starting unit to hit the floor. To bury the lead, Jimmy Butler would make his preseason debut.

Though just a preseason contest, the Miami Heat would come out to look pretty decent early on. You hate to make any major proclamations based on what you see in these games, but the team had some standouts.

Haywood Highsmith will definitely have a role and Exhibit-10 guy, Jamal Cain, is making things pretty interesting on that front. Almost everyone had decent a decent showing in the win over Brooklyn, 109-80, with eight of the Heat’s 13 players that played scoring in double figures.

The Miami Heat may have had the steal of the draft in Nikola Jovic. And with what he’s shown, he should be playing early on, at least, a little each night.

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Among those, though, was the Miami Heat’s latest NBA Draft pick, Nikola Jovic. And among a few other possible storylines to take away from a game in the part of the season that shouldn’t produce many earth-shattering stories—he is probably the main takeaway.

With all nearly seven feet tall of himself, Jovic got out on the floor tonight and did some of that stuff that many Heat fans were enamored with on draft night looking at his highlights from previous play. He made shots, he made plays for himself, he made plays for others, and he even showed you a bit of physicality.

Almost as impressive as anything, he showed you something that is definitely of value in this Miami Heat organization. Here he is getting in the passing lanes and making something really good happen with his defense.

Jovic would finish the contest with 10 points, three rebounds, and five assists on 4-7 from the field and 2-4 from range. And while that doesn’t look like anything magnificent in the stat book, it’s how it looked on the floor that’s most impressive.

And while there is a whole lot of ball to be played, as this isn’t really even the beginning of it all, you can already say this. The guy should play, at least, 10 minutes or so a night for this team in the coming season as a rookie.

You can’t teach his combination of size, athletic ability, and skill. With a guy that has already played at the levels he has in other leagues, he just needs time and experience in this one.

This doesn’t mean he’s a heavy minutes guy, but you find a way to get him some time on most nights and that’s dual motivated. He needs it and the Miami Heat may need it.

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He needs it for his development and to continue that acceleration. And as far as his team, they may need a spark or something special one night and the rookie might just be able to give it to them based on what he showed in preseason game number two.