Jaime Jaquez Jr. shares golden advice Kevin Love gave him on taking care of his body

3 Min Read
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Jaime Jaquez Jr. continues to accumulate knowledge during his very successful rookie season with the Miami Heat, including some advice from teammate Kevin Love on how to deal with coming back from an injury.

“K-Love gave me some great advice, too,” Jaquez said. “He’s like, ‘Listen, take as long as you need to get back healthy because the last thing you want to do is make anything worse.'”

The 23-year-old sat out six games in January with a groin injury. He then struggled a bit in his return from that injury, averaging just 6.2 points per game in his first five appearances back in the lineup. He didn’t reach double figures in points in any of those games after doing so in the seven games immediately prior to the injury.

He still seems to be trying to regain his form as he is averaging just 10.9 points per game in 14 appearances since the NBA All-Star break, a full two points fewer per game than in his 49 appearances prior to that. However, he did have a 25-point game earlier this month.

All in all, Jaquez has had an excellent rookie campaign after being considered one of the steals of the 2023 NBA Draft as the No. 18 overall selection. With Miami having to deal with multiple injuries up and down its roster virtually all season, Jaquez has seemingly been asked to do more than expected as a first-year player, but he has handled the responsibilities with aplomb.

For the season, he is averaging 12.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. His 63 appearances are tied for most on the Heat with Duncan Robinson. Miami has used 21 different players this season with 18 different starters.

Love also may be heeding his own advice as he has not played since late February while sidelined by a heel bruise.

Despite that, the Heat are headed toward the NBA postseason for a fifth straight season and will be looking to get back to the NBA Finals for a third time in that span.

Entering their game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, the Heat are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 38-31 record. They are engaged in a tight race with the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers for sixth place, a position that would not involve having to compete in the play-in round for a second straight 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.