Nikola Jović struggled to get a chance in Miami since the beginning of the season, Erik Spoelstra decided to send him to the development team of Skyforce. He was already the best in his debut and gives hints that he could buy a return ticket to an NBA team.
Erik Spoelstra praised Jović during Mundobasket, Nikola was one of the main aces of the tournament in Manila, but after returning to Miami, he did not get many chances.
The Skyforces were defeated by the development team of Milwaukee, with 123:121, and our representative had 26 points with 8/15 from the field in 33 minutes. He added 5/5 from the penalty line, had three rebounds and assists, one steal and two turnovers.
Since Mundobasket, Jović played in four NBA matches for Miami, against Brooklyn, Houston, Minnesota and Milwaukee. The last time he appeared was against the Bucks on October 31, after that he was on the bench for six matches, and was not even on the scoresheet for three.
As Spolstra spoke during Mundobasket for the Serbian media
– The kid plays well, it’s fun! Firstly it’s fun that we’re here at the same time, secondly he’s been working a lot behind the scenes. No one paid attention in March, April and May when he worked out twice a day and totally changed his body. He is now completely healthy. He worked on his skills and prepared for what we assumed would be a very important summer. First the summer league in Sacramento and Vegas where he played very well, and then the opportunity to compete for a spot in the lineup and potentially minutes… He’s ahead of everyone else so far! I enjoy his game, the coaching staff enjoys it, they wake up at half past five every morning to watch his games and the Miami fans support him! It’s exciting, Heat fans follow the World Cup. Of course they follow our team, but everyone also follows Nikola. We saw how much he worked behind the scenes, he deserved this. All this is thanks to his work habits and dedication.
There was also a meeting with Jović in Manila.
We went out for lunch and we wanted to celebrate more that he was able to come here, fight for a role in his team and experience something completely new. He had never been to Manila, so the conversation was more friendly than a coach-player conversation. I enjoyed it and I just want to support him while he’s here. I’m not trying to coach him, we were just talking. We will meet again even though our schedules are crazy right now, but we will meet again for dinner. I’ll take him to a Filipino restaurant to introduce him to something different.
As the NBA is different from the WC, Nikola needs NBA minutes, what is the plan for him next season?
– This was the plan! We will come to training camp when the time is right. Now I’m just enjoying the fact that he’s competing at the highest level, at the World Championships. He plays a constant important role that brings victories. It is most important. In the last year, he spent a lot of time trying to get well. He didn’t get minutes, he couldn’t really play in the development league either, but now he’s completely healthy and you’ve seen that he’s changed his body. This period between seasons was very important for him. The fact that he was able to be part of our team in the Summer League and later in the preparations of the national team. Now he plays all those games that mean something, it’s the best thing for player development.
Oklahoma basketball players outclassed Portland 134:91, to which Shay Gilges-Alexander contributed the most with 28 points, three rebounds and four assists, Chet Holmgren added 16 points and six rebounds.
The Sacramento Kings basketball players defeated the Dallas Mavericks away from home, with a score of 129:113.
The Philadelphia Seventy-sixers beat the Brooklyn Nets 121:99 on the away court.
The Denver Nuggets basketball players were defeated by the Cleveland Cavaliers with a score of 121:109, with a poor game by the Serbian representative, Nikola Jokic.