Erik Spoelstra Reveals the Irresistible Allure Behind Miami’s Choice to Draft Jamie Jaquez Jr.

Erik Spoelstra Reveals the Irresistible Allure Behind Miami’s Choice to Draft Jamie Jaquez Jr.
Erik Spoelstra Reveals the Irresistible Allure Behind Miami’s Choice to Draft Jamie Jaquez Jr.

The Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra took over for legendary coach Pat Riley at the start of the 2008-2009 NBA season. Spoelstra has gone on to win three NBA championships with the Heat franchise, coaching legends like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James.

Heat rookie Jamie Jaquez Jr. got an awesome surprise in his UCLA basketball return. The Heat have emerged as the favorite for a potential superstar swingman.

On Tuesday, the man known as ‘Coach Spo’ got real about what attracted the Heat toward drafting Jamie Jaquez Jr., the mercurial rookie sensation who was drafted with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft.

Heat’s Jaquez Impresses in Rookie Campaign 

The former UCLA star has been on a tear as of late.

The Heat rookie Jaquez had 31 points against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas Day, followed by a 17-point effort against the Golden State Warriors. He hasn’t hit more than two three-pointers in a game since November 22 of last year.

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound guard/forward’s transition offense skills and smooth mid-range jump shots have left opponents gasping for air.

He’s now shooting over 50 percent from the field and helping Miami to stay in the playoff race.

Coach Spoelstra discussed what he liked about the UCLA rookie’s career in an article posted by NBCSports.com. He compared Jaquez’s experience in college to Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro’s careers.

“I think what was relevant to us is the fact that he had to embrace a role early on as a freshman [at UCLA]. He had to fight and earn an opportunity as a role player,” Spoelstra said about the Heat’s guard Jaquez Jr. “And then he succeeded in that. Second year, he was probably their third or fourth option, embraced that, and then had a great tournament run. And then each year, he was earning more opportunities.”

Next Up For Heat: Los Angeles Lakers

The Heat are scheduled to play the Los Angeles Lakers on the road on Wednesday in a game that could become an instant classic.

Both teams are in need of a jolt of energy after their long 2023 playoff journeys.

The Lakers have lost two games in a row while the Heat have won four of their last six.

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