4 Miami Heat players who need a monster second half to save their job

Here are four players who need to step up to help propel the Miami Heat up the East standings and potentially save their jobs.

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat
Washington Wizards v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Nikola Jović

Nikola Jovic
Miami Heat v Brooklyn Nets / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

A Look at Jović's 2023-24 NBA season stats:

  • 6.0 points
  • 4.2 rebounds
  • 1.9 assists
  • 43% FG

Small forward Nikola Jović' showcased his skills as a play-finisher for the deep Serbia team during the FIBA World Cup in August. He maintained an impressive average of 10 points, shooting at an impressive 56.6% from the field (70.4% on 2-pointers and 42.3% on 3-pointers). While it may not directly translate to the NBA level, scoring 10 points on 70% shooting inside the arc is commendable, regardless of the shot quality. Although some may disagree, it's difficult to argue that Jović couldn't contribute valuable minutes as the eighth or ninth player in the rotation.

With the departure of Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, two spots in the rotation became available. However, coach Spoelstra chose to fill those spots with players who had previously proven themselves, such as Richardson, and reintroduced forward Duncan Robinson into the rotation (which has proven to be a wise decision). As a result, Jović' has only had the opportunity to play in 22 out of Miami's 55 games. This is not a new approach for coach Spoelstra, as he did the same with Robinson and Adebayo at the beginning of their careers.

Jović has shown proficiency in shooting from beyond the arc, with a shooting percentage of over 40%. Additionally, he contributes composure and smart playmaking decisions on the court. His +-12 net rating has also had a positive impact on the Heat's offense, elevating their ORTG to 118.

Spoelstra gave Jović the best scenario possible to improve and enhance his game with a two-way contract in the G-League and on the Heat's roster. Working with the coaching staff and his teammates such as Butler and Robinson, has given Jović the ability to gain more confidence and the momentum he's needed to contribute meaningful minutes when his number has been called this season, seen most recently before the All-Star break.

It is worth mentioning his recent outstanding performance against Milwaukee, where he scored 24 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, shooting 8-of-13 from the field and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc in a convincing road victory. Although he struggled in the recent game against Philadelphia, with only 3 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists on 1-of-2 shooting in 14 minutes.

Jović should garner more playing time in the latter part of the season, especially with key players out due to injuries. With Richardson injured and Butler coming back, Jović' should seize the chance to showcase his skills now.

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