3 Surprising silver linings from the Miami Heat’s 2023-2024 season

The Miami Heat fell well short of another deep postseason run, but there are still a few silver linings, no matter the bleak outcome of this injury-riddled season.
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game One
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game One / Winslow Townson/GettyImages
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2. Nikola Jovic's development

Jovic’s story was slightly different. As he struggled with his defense, he failed to earn Spoelstra's trust early in the season. With a culture that puts so much emphasis on defense, this created problems for Jovic and his potential on the court. For a while, it seemed like he would only get playing time when there were injuries to the core guys.

But those injuries ignited more opportunities for Jovic to showcase his abilities. After receiving these chances, he ran with it. He earned himself a rotation spot and slowly became the team’s everyday starting power forward next to Bam Adebayo in the frontcourt. He displayed versatility on both ends, as a 6-foot-11 big with a handle and ability to push the pace.

Jovic averaged 7.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists on 45.2% shooting in 19.5 minutes this season.

His length allowed Adebayo to become more free on defense, too. Adebayo was able to guard smaller players rather than limiting him to just guarding the opposing team’s center every night.

As mentioned before, injuries opened up pathways for Jovic and Jaquez to get a chance. By the postseason, they both were repping starting roles. Even though it wasn’t the outcome that the team hoped for, it gave Jovic and Jaquez much-needed experience moving forward.