Winderman’s view: Nikola Jovic starts, captivates in win, but perspective please

MIAMI — Observations and other notes of interest from Monday night’s 120-113 victory over the Houston Rockets:

– The Niko Show tends to be a thrill ride.

– It was again on Monday night, with Nikola Jovic starting again at power forward for the Heat.

– There were ample rebounds early.

– Some playmaking.

– But also rushed 3-point shots.

– And forcing of action off his preferred bust-out dribbles.

– The skills are there.

– The motor is there.

– But so is the youth.

– Youth that can be indulged in Game 36 of an 82-game regular season.

– But likely not in moments of consequence.

– And likely to be put out of view when Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin return.

– So to his credit, Erik Spoelstra is seeing what is there now.

– Then to file it away for when needed next.

– As the 20-year-old continues to mature.

– At the moment, tempting enough to start.

– But not ready to close.

– So even with Haywood Highsmith cleared from concussion protocol after a three-game absence, Jovic started.

– The other four starters were Bam Adebayo, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry.

– It was the fourth start in the past five games for Jovic.

– Butler again was inactive with his toe injury.

– With Martin again inactive with his ankle sprain.

– In addition, RJ Hampton was not available due to a stomach illness.

– Adebayo was called for his second foul with 7:07 left in the opening period, with Kevin Love entering in his place.

Josh Richardson followed off the Heat bench.

– Then Duncan Robinson.

– And then Highsmith.

– Adebayo’s first steal tied Bimbo Coles for ninth on the Heat all-time list.

– Jaquez said this four-game homestand comes with obvious meaning.

– “We feel like this is a crucial moment for us,” he said at the morning shootaround..

– He added, “This is a way where we can either go our separate ways or come together as a team and make something happen. I think as a collective, we’re all buying into coming together.”

– Jaquez said it was time to stop treading water at home.

– “This is something that everyone talks about,” he said, “and right now, I think it’s the most crucial moment when you talk about a team.”

– Spoelstra bypassed weekend practices to get his team refreshed after the five-game trip that ended with Friday night’s loss in Phoenix.

– “I think we all needed a couple of days to get geared up for this game,” he said.

– He added, “We felt like we were away for a decent amount of time. This is an opportunity for us to reset and just back after it.”

– Adebayo said moving forward without Butler meant no looking back.

– We don’t look at injuries as an excuse to dropping a game,” he said. “When you have that type of mindset, the doubt doesn’t creep into everybody’s mind.”

– The Heat entered with five consecutive home wins against the Rockets, tying the longest such streak against Houston in the Heat’s 36 seasons.

– The Heat also entered with six consecutive wins overall against the Rockets, two off the franchise record.

– On the day of college football’s national championship, Robinson entered wearing a “Michigan vs. Everybody” T-shirt.