Written by Ira Winderman
It is why he insists that gains have been made on this trip, even with the aborted comeback in Monday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and Wednesday’s botched close of regulation in the overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings.
“The only way you actually get an opportunity to work on it is when you are going through things that aren’t necessarily going your way,” he said following the morning shootaround at UCLA. “We are getting better. We are getting stronger from this. And I truly believe that we’ll find the benefits of going through these kinds of games and the emotions.”
“It’s a lot of teaching points,” he said, “not only schematically, but also from a focus standpoint, attention to detail and emotional stability.
“We’re going through all of those things you go through in close games. They feel like playoff games.”
To Spoelstra, it is the difference between cruising into the playoffs versus playing nothing but games with meaning, which has been the case for the Heat amid this Eastern Conference playoff-race scramble.