With the NBA Playoffs just around the corner, the Miami Heat were hoping to get through today’s final seeding game without any injuries. That unfortunately didn’t happen, as high-flying forward Derrick Jones Jr. had to be taken off on a stretcher moments ago.
Erik Spoelstra tried to limit his role players’ minutes this afternoon against the Indiana Pacers since they’re destined to meet in the first round of the playoffs.
During the second half of action, Jones took a hard shot toward his head/neck area while trying to get around a screen from Goga Bitadze.
Jones immediately hit the deck and grabbed his neck. The trainers for Miami had to take the 23-year-old off the court with a protective collar around his neck. Thankfully, he did move his arms and legs before being taken off the court.
Here’s how the injury happened:
Derrick Jones Jr has been down for several minutes and holding his neck after taking hard screen by Goga Bitadze pic.twitter.com/4pSTTVaaQq
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) August 14, 2020
Hopefully, the injury isn’t as bad as it looks for Jones.
Game 1 between the Heat and Pacers is scheduled to take place on Tuesday. It’s way too early to tell if Jones will be available at any point during that series.
Jones has become a key player for Miami this season, averaging 8.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
Miami has the depth to overcome the loss of Jones, but the team obviously would like to have him on the floor. If he’s unable to play for an extended period of time, Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodala and Kelly Olynyk will have to pick up the slack.