Erik Spoelstra Rumors
In Game 3, the Heat were blown out 94-75. Dexter Pittman, who started at center, was ejected in the first quarter. But Pittman was the decoy. Battier was the key. “I walked through the tunnel that night after Game 3 knowing that was how we were going to play, regardless of the score,” Spoelstra says. “I shut out all the noise. Everyone thought we couldn’t win that way, certainly not a title. I didn’t care.” Spoelstra didn’t budge. With Battier stretching the floor for James and Wade, the Heat blitzed the Pacers in Game 4. And Game 5. And Game 6. A month later, with Battier and Bosh each slinging 3s in the Finals against the Thunder, the Heat won the championship, their first of two in the Big Three era. That night, D’Antoni received a text message from Spoelstra. “This one’s for you,” it read. “We climbed the mountaintop.”
But Riley also said he is standing by coach Erik Spoelstra. “I think I told Erik to go beat himself up for about a week and if he didn’t then I would help him,” he said with a laugh. “I sit with the coaching staff every night after every game.” He said it also is time to move forward. “I’m moving on,” he said. “I have no regrets.”
During the Pacers’ 112-89 win, George played 15 minutes and scored 13 points (5-of-12 from the floor with three 3-pointers) and picked up two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Though George also turned the ball over three times and picked up just as many fouls, the Pacers (34-43) outscored the Heat by 12 while he was on the floor. So, he’s back. And throughout the NBA, even rivals recognized the moment. “There’s been a lot of injury stories this year, but that’s one of the good stories,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We all saw it on TV. Even from a competitor’s standpoint, it was great to see that he’s back out on the court. It has to come on our game, who cares? The fact that an injured player is back, we’re not hiding from competition.”
“We’ll handle it and it will be corrected,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “Everybody’s responsible to the team.”
“We view Mike as a family member. We drafted him. We spent a lot of time developing him,” Spoelstra said. “With all the change that we’ve had it was very nice to add someone this late in the game that’s a familiar face, that understands our culture. And we feel very comfortable with. That’s unique at this time of year. Continuity is important.”
Ethan J. Skolnick: Spoelstra says he invented an “amoeba defense.” That’s when 2 guys were in man & the rest were in zone b/c no one knew what they were doing.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the Kings do look different playing for George Karl. Spoelstra only had an eight-game sample to evaluate before the Kings played the Heat on Saturday at American Airlines Arena. But he said the Kings are taking on Karl’s personality. “It’s amazing,” Spoelstra said. “It’s uncanny how his teams, going all the way back to Seattle, will play with that pace and attack mentality. Since the All-Star break, their team is starting to shape up with that type of personality.”
Hassan Whiteside played just 20 minutes (10 points, 2 rebounds) and picked up another technical. “He’ll be fine; he knows our culture,” said Spoelstra, indicating that a sideline conversation with Whiteside that drew some comments on Twitter was nothing more than a normal player/coach discussion.
Why was he on the bench so long? Spoelstra said it was because of fatigue, but Whiteside did not seem to agree. “I have no answer for that,” he said. “That’s a question for Coach Spo. I have no answer for that.” Asked about whether he pleaded with Spoelstra to get back in, Whiteside responded, “I don’t ever talk to Coach Spo about minutes. I’m just blessed to be here and I do my job.” He was pressed on the question of whether he was fatigued and continued to deflect. “You always want to play,” Whiteside said. “Everybody wants to play. I really wanted to play. But as you can see, they went on a run. That’s a question for Coach. I don’t know what to really say about that. I watched it like y’all.”
Joseph Goodman: Breaking: Erik Spoelstra just called Mario Chalmers a “Heat lifer” on the @JoyTaylorTalks and @ZaslowShow.
Ira Winderman: Spoelstra on Zoran, “We actually scouted him quite a bit this summer, not thinking it would lead to anything.” Said scout urged look.
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Friday that the most difficult part of parting with four players at Thursday’s NBA trading deadline was dealing point guard Norris Cole. “When you send a player like Norris Cole,” Spoelstra said, “to another team, a two-time champion, somebody that came up through our ranks — we developed him, we spent a lot of time when we drafted him — that’s always tough in this business. You hear it all the time, the cliche, ‘it’s a business’. But when you trade someone like that, you make that call, those are one of the tougher calls you have to make. He’s one of my favorite players that we’ve had here, because of what I call his ‘competitive character.’ Norris is elite with that.”