Miami Heat First-Rounder To Miss At Least A Month

It's been a bit of a slow start not only for the Miami Heat as a team, but also for first-round pick Nikola Jovic. Now the rookie's progress will be stunted by a back issue that will keep him off the court for at least a month. 

According to the Heat, Jovic has a lower back stress reaction and will be re-evaluated after four weeks.

The rookie's season began mostly by watching his veteran teammates from the sideline; Jovic got into just four of the Heat's first 11 games. Then after a good run of six games as part of the rotation, which included a career-high 18-point night, he was relegated back to reserve duty, and even some time in the G League. 

Now, his progress unfortunately will be derailed by the back ailment. 

Jovic was the 27th pick by the Heat in the 2022 NBA Draft, and although he's known more for his uncannily similar name to two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic, the 6'10" athletic Jovic has some skills. He just won't be able to hone them again until at least sometime in February. 

Thus far, he's averaged 5.5 points and 2.1 rebounds in 13.6 minutes per game.

Photo: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports