Coach Erik Spoelstra
Category: Coach's Corner, Latest News

Written by Ira Winderman

It may not be an actual body part, but it is something Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstrainsists his team learn to flex.

“The thing that we’ve been really focusing on,” he said Friday, in advance of his team’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, “is developing this muscle of resilience.”

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.

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