The Miami Heat are performing better than preseason predictions by the experts. They currently sit in the 4 seed in the eastern conference playoff picture as they get set to take on the Nets tonight in Brooklyn. With a 26-18 record, and the trade deadline approaching (February 8th) the Heat are in an interesting position. They could try an acquire a wing player and look to make a deep playoff run or stand pat and continue to keep an eye on the long-term sustainability of the franchise. Such is the dilemma for President Pat Riley and GM Andy Elisburg. But coach Erik Spoelstra has a different mission. Keeping his team focused on the task at hand, improving and getting better each day. Limiting the noise and resisting the complacency and distractions of the trade deadline and all-star break. All of which precede the “dog days” of the NBA season, a term “Spo” hates.
Prior to tonight’s matchup against the Nets, Spo talked about the team’s improvement. Why, despite their record, the Nets are not a team to be trifled with. He then talked about why the “dog days” is a term he hates, because of the immense privilege and opportunity it is to suit up and play in the NBA.
Spoelstra is a 2X NBA champion as a coach and while casual fans may want to chalk that up to coaching LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh; people that know the game and understand the value of coaching know how good Spo is. This season and last season (Heat had the best record post All-Star in 2017) are clear examples of his value-add.
See Erik Spoelstra’s full pre-game comments below.