Erik Spoelstra Insists Miami Heat is a Physical Team
The Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series 99-90. Dwyane Wade carried the Heat with 38 points while James Jones added 25 on 5-for-7 three-point shooting. Paul Pierce was ejected after getting his second technical foul for getting physical with Dwyane Wade, and the game was described as “chippy” by Doc Rivers. Miami beating the physical Celtics was a surprise for some folks, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was asked about it. He offered a different perspective of his team.
“Both teams are physical, and this is the playoffs,” Spoelstra said. “At this point in the year you can’t be somebody you’re not. We are trying to play our game, the game of basketball, the habits that we’ve built for five months and do it better than them for four games. That’s it.”
“We’re not stepping out of who we are, we’re not trying to be more physical than who we are because it’s the playoffs, [or] because it’s Boston,” he continued. “We’re a physical basketball team and that’s probably been understated all year long. We’re one of the better rebounding teams in the league. We play a physical, aggressive style of defense, we’re not doing a lot different.”
That’s an extremely different assessment of the same Heat team people feel is soft because of Chris Bosh’s crying episode, and the word from Spoelstra that the team was crying after a March loss to the Bulls. If Miami manages to beat the Celtics, and moreover, win the NBA title, I fully expect all the criticism of them crying to change to it being an example of the Heat “having heart.” You heard it here first, from your neighborhood friendly blogging hero.