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Heat rookie Nikola Jovic works on ‘everything’ in the G League – The Denver Post

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As the Heat’s roster improves, the team sent rookie Nikola Jovic back to South Dakota on Saturday so the 19-year-old could get more playing time with Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA G League.

Despite being the Heat’s final first-round pick, Jovic will still have to earn his playing time in Sioux Falls, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.

“For sure he can go there and get longer minutes, that helps,” Spoelstra said. “And we’re not just going to play him more than 40 minutes. He must earn those minutes and contribute to winning to get more minutes.

Jovic had nine points on four of 11 shooting with 11 rebounds in 33 minutes in Skyforce’s 113-102 win over Motor City Cruise.

Spoelstra said “everything” is important for the developing forward this season, whether he’s with the Heat or in the G League.

“When he’s with us, it’s important to see how we operate, what’s expected from a workload perspective, from a player development perspective,” Spoelstra said, “and then also to learn to stay prepared so you don’t have to prepare Your opportunities can arise at any time.

Popovich expects Spoelstra to be ‘fantastic’ with Team USA

The United States men’s national team may have been knocked out of the World Cup (and soccer stars Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic have recently attended Heat games), but Spoelstra will have a similar opportunity in the years to come. come.

The long-serving Heat manager serves as an assistant coach for Team USA as they prepare for next year’s FIBA ​​World Cup and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. He worked with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich coaching Team USA Select in preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympics (played in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

“He doesn’t need any advice from me,” Popovich said ahead of Saturday’s game in Miami. “He was with us all the time. He was someone who came and was with us while we were preparing the team because I have so much respect for him. He was there with Steve [Kerr] and all the other guys that were in the program at the time. He has good experience of what is going on and what you need to do. Hopefully without COVID things will be much easier to organize and get done, but he will be a fantastic helper for Steve.

Spoelstra praises former Heat guard Josh Richardson

Former Heat guard Josh Richardson returned to Miami with the Spurs, and Spoelstra had some kind words about his former player.

“He was so good here,” Spoelstra said. “Those were fun years, with J-Rich. It was kind of a turning point, a different chapter for our organization. Him and Justise (Winslow) and Tyler Johnson, they brought that youthful exuberance. But those are professionals.

“They have really worked on the development of their players. J-Rich is one of those great guys to have on your team. He is a two-way player, he has a good state of mind, a good attitude. It’s about the good stuff in this business.

Richardson, who played four seasons with the Heat, averaged 10.3 points, 2.9 assists and 2.2 rebounds for the Spurs entering Saturday.

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