Already away from team, Heat’s Dedmon enters NBA COVID protocols; Jovic sent to G League – The Denver Post
It was part of previous seasons equations the Miami Heat had been able to avoid until Friday, when backup center Dewayne Dedmon was listed as out for Friday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets due to health protocols and NBA safety.
Unlike previous illnesses that had sidelined NBA players recently, including Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, this did not come with the mention that it was a “non-COVID illness.”
Working in the Heat’s favor against an outbreak across the roster, as was the case last season, is that Dedmon did not travel for the five-game trip due to a previous foot problem that held him down. away from the previous three games.
NBA players who are up to date on vaccination protocols are not required to undergo testing. However, those with symptoms of COVID are being tested.
Based on plantar fasciitis in Dedmon’s left foot, he was expected to miss the entire five-game trip which continues Saturday night against the Utah Jazz and includes games next week against Los Angeles. Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns.
Another roster update came Friday when the Heat sent first-round pick Nikola Jovic to G League affiliate Sioux Falls Skyforce.
The move meant there was no Friday night showdown between Nikola Jovic and Nikola Jokic, another member of the Serbian national programme. Jovic, 19, is yet to meet two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Jokic, with the Nuggets center enjoying another dominant season.
In another adjustment to the team’s injury report, forward Caleb Martin, who was listed on the injury report with a sprained ankle, was also listed with a sprained quadriceps.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says denying Jokic a third consecutive MVP could prove a challenge for this media electorate.
“He just plays amazing basketball,” Spoelstra said. “It’s year after year after year. That’s what the big guys do. Can he go to a higher level? I do not know. He has been spectacular for the past two years. . . .
Spoelstra also spoke during the morning shootout at Ball Arena about his team’s uptick in defensive performance.
“It’s a lot more effort,” he said. “There are a lot more guys emptying the tank there. Several times in recent games where the ball is on the ground, they are the first to hit the ground. We put bodies in front of the drives, to try to take hits.
“Regardless of whether we get the call or not, it’s our defence. And there has to be a level of physique and strength every night. . . .
Spoelstra noted that the altitude could not be used as an excuse at the start of the trip to Denver and Salt Lake City given the degree above sea level of his team’s Dec. 17 victory over the San Antonio. Spurs. “We don’t even let that be an excuse,” he said. “We were able to do that in Mexico City.” . . .
As for the travel challenge, Spoelstra reiterated on Friday: “That’s what we need right now to know where we are.”
Since the Heat’s Jan. 10 home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder has been picked up for national coverage by TNT, it will no longer be broadcast by Bally Sports Sun.
The change means three Heat games in a four-game streak will now receive national coverage, with Wednesday night at the Lakers and Dec. 6 at the Suns being carried by ESPN in addition to Bally Sports Sun.