All signs pointing in same direction for Miami Heat regarding Nikola Jovic’s knee injury

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Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jovic did not finish the Miami Heat’s lopsided victory on Friday, but a team insider is indicating the injury he suffered against the Portland Trail Blazers is not a big concern.

“A knee contusion that forced Nikola Jovic to leave Friday’s game is not considered serious,” wrote Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Jovic started but played just a bit more than 17 minutes in the overwhelming 142-82 win. The 60-point triumph marked the largest margin of victory in Heat franchise history.

In his limited time, Jovic contributed five points to his team’s total as 11 different Heat players got into the scoring column.

Miami is back in action Sunday against the lowly Washington Wizards, and Jovic is listed as probable for that game. Earlier this month, he was on the injury report with a hamstring strain.

Back in November, he had to set the record straight after a Serbian outlet reported comments that revealed he may not have been happy with his role on the team.

The 20-year-old is averaging 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game across 37 appearances this season. After spending some time in the G League, he began to get more regular playing time in the NBA around when the calendar turned to 2024.

There are some around the league who believe Jovic could be a surprise weapon for the Heat in the playoffs, should they make it there.

The Heat could use as many healthy players as possible as they try to climb the standings in the Eastern Conference in the final stretch of the regular season. With a 40-33 record, they are in seventh place in the conference but just two games behind the Orlando Magic for fifth place in a tight race that includes the sixth-place Indiana Pacers.

The top six teams in the conference will secure spots in the playoffs, while the next four teams in the standings will have to compete in the play-in round to advance. Miami took that route last season and made it all the way to the 2023 NBA Finals.

Though a 60-point win against any level of opponent bodes well for their current level of play, the Heat will look to solidify their status over the nine games they have remaining in the regular season.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.