Jaime Jaquez Jr. on his turnaround jumper over LeBron: “I’m going to have that video and I’m going to show that to my kids, when I have kids.”
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) January 4, 2024
Jaquez hit James with a sweet move on the baseline, nailing a fadeaway jumper.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. with the shot over LeBron James 🔥 pic.twitter.com/XUbjMz4zwp
— Ahn Fire Digital (@AhnFireDigital) January 4, 2024
Jaquez had a solid game for the Heat on Wednesday night, earning the start for the team with star Jimmy Butler sidelined with an injury. The Heat also didn’t have wings Haywood Highsmith and Caleb Martin against Los Angeles.
The rookie forward shot 7-for-14 from the field, finishing with 16 points, eight assists, one steal and one block. Miami picked up a huge road win over a Lakers team that has 11 wins at home this season.
A first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Jaquez played his collegiate basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), so Wednesday’s game was a homecoming for the rookie.
This season, Jaquez has quickly become an important player in Miami’s rotation, averaging 30.0 minutes per game and starting 10 of the 34 games that he’s appeared in. He’s averaging 13.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from beyond the arc.
As long as Butler is out, Jaquez will likely play a lot of minutes for the Heat – and he should have a consistent role for the team going forward. It’s impressive how quickly the rookie has acclimated himself to playing in Erik Spoelstra’s system.
It’s obviously a big moment for the California native to have a highlight against James, who is arguably the greatest player in NBA history. A four-time champion, James is currently in his 21st season in the NBA, yet he’s still been dominant in the 2023-24 season.
James has been in the league since Jaquez was a youngster, and he became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer last season. It’s a pretty awesome moment for Jaquez to have against a player that is a sure-fire Hall of Famer.
Hopefully, Jaquez will have many more moments against NBA greats that he will want to remember during his career with the Heat. He’ll have a chance to take on the Suns — and potentially Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal (if they play) — in Miami’s next game.