If there has been a bright spot in the up and down rollercoaster of a season for the Miami Heat, it is the revelation that is star Nikola Jovic who is looking to head into his first postseason as a heavy contributor for the team. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, Bam Adebayo, and Jovic himself spoke about his ascension after Friday night's win against the Toronto Raptors in the penultimate contest of the season.

Jovic shined again Friday as he led the team with 22 points on nine for 18 shooting from the field and four of 10 from three-point range to go along with five rebounds. He has been a mainstay in the Heat's starting lineup when healthy in the second half of the season putting him at the four or power forward spot next to star Bam Adebayo.

Spoelstra talks about Jovic being in postseason rotation

Miami Heat forward Nikola Jovic (5) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors guard RJ Barrett (9) defends during the first half at Kaseya Center.
Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

He has been thriving in the role for Miami as it provides the team with size that was desperately lacking at that position as the 20-year old has the ability to be a trick under the sleeve for the Heat. Whether he will be heavily involved in the postseason rotation seems to be pointing in the direction of positivity as Spoelstra said that process is “already happening.”

“It's already happening. You just don't know until you get to the playoffs, but in all the things that I've talked about for the last several weeks, positional size the skill level,” Spoelstra said. “He [Jovic] and Bam [Adebayo] are unique, because they both can handle, they both can initiate, both can pass and Niko has really developed and worked on his shooting ability. And then all those hours drilling our defense, it's gotten incrementally better each week of the season. Whether he is in the rotation or not. And that kind of size and habits, those things defensively help our team.”

Adebayo said Jovic is “making it hard not to play him”

Adebayo himself has always had no hesitation when praising and raving about Jovic's ability in all departments and did so again after the win over the Raptors where the Miami All-Star finished with 19 points on eight for 10 shooting to go with six rebounds. When asked about Jovic, he said that “he's making it hard not to play him.”

“He's making it hard not to play him,” Adebayo said. “It sets the tone every night, he makes plays, he makes the right plays, gives those extra efforts that we need.”

Jovic talks about the aspect that will keep him on the floor

There is no doubt that the team will be throwing Jovic in the hypothetical deep end once the postseason starts as he will be playing in the most high-stakes games of his NBA career so far. It will be entirely beneficial for him by the end of it, but the biggest aspect that will keep him on the court is his defense according to Jovic after the win.

“Defense and I think defense keeps you in court. And as long as I can be good there, I think, you know, I'll be able to play and I feel like at this point, they believe in me and they can see that I can defense,” Jovic said. “And that's where I've been working a lot. That's what I'm going to keep working on and that's what's gonna keep me on the court.”

Jovic speaking about his time playing for Serbian national team

Even at 20-years old, Jovic has played on a number of big stages with one being the FIBA World Cup this past summer where he was on his national team of Serbia, who finished second place in the tournament. He said after the game that it no doubt “helped a lot,” especially where it made him get familiar to playing in big games like the playoffs.

“I mean, it helped a lot. For sure. Especially because, you know, every game there matters,” Jovic said. “And if you lose, you know, it can be the game that sends you home. And those are the games that you know, probably feel like the playoffs and helped me a lot just been one of those guys there and playing against all the good teams there. You know, the only good national teams even though you know, maybe the USA will not be the best roster they still had a good squad. We played a lot of good teams and I think it prepared a lot for this year.”

Jovic on Miami's win Friday over the Raptors

Before the post-season begins for Jovic, the pathway to that point is still unclear as even with one game left, the Heat can finish anywhere from the fifth to the eighth seed. Winning Friday was a huge first step as they played well with Jovic crediting Spoelstra to ClutchPoints for having “all of us on the same page.”

“Spo [Spoelstra] had all of us on the same page, and I think that's what he did,” Jovic said to ClutchPoints. “We know what our strengths are, we know what to do. We know who needs a ball and how to move the ball and who needs the a ball in certain moments, and that's what we're gonna continue to work on and when the time comes, in a few days, we will know what to do.”

Jovic says Heat locker room isn't talking about standings

With so many possibilities, one would possibly think that the players of Miami are thinking about where they could end up once Sunday passes. However, that could not be father from the case as Jovic admitted to the media after the win to the Raptors that the locker room is “not talking a lot about it” as they are focused on beating Toronto again Sunday.

“We’re not talking a lot about it,” Jovic said if him and his teammates are talking about their possible pathways in the postseason. “I feel like you just got to go day by day. We got to keep working on our game and not worry about who’s going to be the opponent until we know who it is. It was important to win this one [Friday] and the next one [Sunday], for sure. Then whatever happens happens.”

As mentioned, the Heat will play their final regular season game Sunday afternoon as they will take on the Raptors. Before they can worry about seeding, they have to win and worry about the rest later, even though the hope is they can avoid the play-in as according to Basketball Reference's Playoff Probabilities report, Miami has a 3.6 percent chance to get fifth and 16.3 percent chance to get sixth.