The Heat defeated the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night in convincing fashion by 137-106. While fans are pleased with the victory against their conference rivals, the Miami Heat has started an unrelated pre-game tradition that is bringing equal amounts of joy to the city of Miami just ahead of NBA All-Star weekend.
The Heat seems to have impressed fans and casual observers alike throughout the entire season. Coach Erik Spoelstra has led this group of players to Eastern Conference contention with seemingly only one "superstar," namely Jimmy Butler.
Despite the lack of star power, multiple Heat players have been selected to represent Miami during the upcoming All-Star weekend.
Butler will be joined for the first time by all-star Bam Adebayo on Sunday's big game. But before the all-star game tips off, Chicago will host multiple surrounding games and events, per usual NBA custom.
The Heat's Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn will join fellow rookie all-stars in facing the NBA's "sophomores" in the "Rising Stars" game on Friday night.
Saturday night, Adebayo will participate in the skills competition before Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson competes in the three-point contest.
Saturday night will also ring in the highly-anticipated Dunk Contest. Heat high-flyer Derrick Jones Jr. is among the six contestants and he has begun a new warm-up tradition in preparation for the event — his very own dunk contest.
While playing for the Phoenix Suns, Derrick Jones Jr. made it to the final round of the Slam Dunk Contest, back in 2017. The current Heat guard ended up losing to Glenn Robinson III.
While he may have lost, keep in mind that Jones Jr. was turning 19 in 2017 — he was basically a kid dunking among men. You probably wouldn't know it by watching him fly through the air, though.
While his overall game seems to have improved greatly under Spoelstra's tutelage, Jones Jr. continues to dunk with the best of them. His pre-game routine ought to show you all you need to see.
We know the Heat's social media team has been excellent, but Jones Jr. made this post easy for them. Here's a clip of the Heat guard slamming it home after jumping over towering Miami Heat forward James Johnson.
For context, Johnson is 6'8" tall, and Jones Jr. appeared to flawlessly pull off this dunk with relative ease during his new warm-up tradition.
The Heat's class clowns will be in the building cheering their teammate on come Saturday, February 15. Tune in to TNT at 9 p.m. Eastern Time to see Derrick Jones Jr. go for the Slam Dunk trophy again.