Heat's Derrick Jones 'moving better' after freak injury



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Heat's Derrick Jones 'moving better' after freak injury

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra shared a positive update on forward Derrick Jones Jr. after the 23-year-old was carted off the court following a collision with Indiana Pacers center Goha Bitadze. Jones was chasing Pacers forward Doug McDermott and tried to go around Bitadze's screen when he collided with the Pacers center and fell to the floor on his stomach.

Jones was moving his legs but he made no attempt to get up as he was immobilized and moved onto a stretcher. After Jones for carted off the court, Heat coach Spoelstra called a timeout to settle down his team following the forward's nasty injury.

ESPN's Rachel Nichols reported post-game that Jones wasn't feeling numbness and that he would re-evaluated in a week. The Heat announced after the game that Jones was diagnosed with neck strain. "He's already moving better," Heat coach Spoelstra said, per ESPN.

"He got jarred in the shoulder, neck area. Obviously a little bit more than a stinger."

Pacers coach Nate McMillan sorry for what happened to Jones

The Pacers beat the Heat 109-92 in the final seeding game and now the two teams are set to meet in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

"We thought it was a solid screen," McMillan told Nichols between quarters. "We thought he got his neck caught up in Goga's shoulder. You never want to see something like that. ... We hope he's okay."

"We want to be competitive, but we're together, we're unified as a league. You never want to see someone go down with an injury like that. ... In a game like this where you're trying to get ready for the playoffs, you want to come out of this game without any injuries."

Meanwhile, Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba won't be playing in the playoffs after leaving the bubble for further testing following his bout with the coronavirus. Bamba was tested positive for the coronavirus on June 11 and has since recovered but he now has to undergo some testing related to his coronavirus battle.

"On the advice of the Magic's human performance staff and team physicians, Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba has left the NBA campus for a comprehensive post-coronavirus evaluation," the team said in a release, per ESPN.

Bamba, the sixth overall pick of the 2028 season, averaged 5.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this season for the Magic, who play the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.