Kevin Love gets brutally honest on Erik Spoelstra taking him out of Heat rotation

Kevin Love has not featured in the Miami Heat’s last three games, which also includes Game 1 of the NBA Finals. After averaging 18.0 minutes per contest throughout the Heat’s amazing NBA Playoffs run, Love has been relegated to the dog house by coach Erik Spoelstra, and it’s very much possible that this stays the same the rest of the way.

For his part, however, Love isn’t sweating it. The one-time NBA champion understands his role on the team, and not even the fact that he’s been unable to get off the bench these past few games is going to change his view:

“I think the luxury is I’ll be sitting there waiting. If my number is called, great. If not, I’m going to support these guys the best I can,” Love said, via Heat beat reporter Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.

After what we saw from the Heat in their Game 1 drubbing at the hands of Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if Coach Spoelstra decides to bring Love back into the rotation for Game 2 on Sunday. After all, this man still has a lot of gas left in the tank, and he could be a key contributor for the squad on both ends of the floor.

However, as he so boldly said above, Love has also accepted the fact that it’s possible that he remains on the bench for the remainder of this series. Even if this happens, Kevin Love isn’t going to let this impact his mindset of helping the Heat achieve its ultimate goal in whatever way he can.

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Erik Spoelstra gets brutally honest on Heat getting only 2 free-throws in Game 1

The lack of chances at the charity stripe by the Miami Heat has been a big talking point following their 104-93 loss in Game 1 of the 2023 NBA Finals at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. However, Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra knows that it’s more about the lack of aggressiveness of his team in attacking the rim and less about the game’s officiating.

“I thought the free throw disparity was appropriate, Spoelstra said during the Heat’s practice on Saturday. “Maybe we could have got two, four, six more based on a call here or a call there. But overall our attack numbers were lower, and that usually translates into lower free throw attempts.”

The Heat only had two free-throw attempts in the series opener and both were from a reliever in Haywood Haysmith. Miami star Jimmy Butler had already admitted that the Heat’s over-dependence on shooting jumpers was a major reason for the paltry free-throw attempts by his team in Game 1 when he asked about it in the postgame press conference.

Miami is averaging 20 attempts from the free-throw line so far in the playoffs, so it was shocking, to say the least, that the Heat were only able to get two freebies in Game 1. Add to that the fact that the Heat are getting 14.6 percent of their points in the playoffs from the free-throw line.

With both Butler and Spoelstra noting Miami’s shot selection, expect the Heat to attack the basket and generate free-throw chances more in Game 2 this coming Sunday in Denver.

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Erik Spoelstra’s perfect 3-word message to Heat after shooting woes in Game 1 vs Nuggets

The Miami Heat were downright brutal in Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets, there’s no other way to put it. The biggest issue was their shooting woes, draining just 41% of their field goals and shooting 33% from downtown. But, that hasn’t stopped head coach Erik Spoelstra from trying to instill confidence in his players ahead of Game 2.

He’s not wrong. Once two or three shots go down, that will give the Heat some momentum to build on. While someone like Jimmy Butler doesn’t particularly shoot a ton of triples, the rest of the rotation does. Miami took 39 of them in the series opener but only sank 13. Outside of Gabe Vincent who was 5 for 10, Max Strus, Duncan Robinson, Kyle Lowry, and Cody Martin were all hopeless. It was a very cold shooting night.

The reality is the Heat do rely heavily on their ability to make it rain from beyond the arc. Miami is shooting 38.7% from three-point territory in these playoffs and needs to find their stroke if they’re going to get past Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Most importantly, as Spoelstra said, the Heat has to capitalize on those clean looks when possible.

Game 2 Sunday is crucial for the Eastern Conference winners, who will be looking to avoid a 2-0 hole before heading back to South Beach. Considering the heart and fight of this team, there’s little doubt this contest should be a lot more competitive. Aside from the shooting though, Miami has to find a way to slow down Nikola Jokic and the Denver supporting cast, too, which is far easier said than done.

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Former Heat guard Goran Dragic teases ‘no-brainer’ Miami decision

The last time the Miami Heat were in the NBA Finals, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo were two focal points of their roster, much like they are this year in the Finals. However, their second-best scorer that season was Goran Dragic.

Spending seven seasons in Miami, Dragic made a name for himself in Miami and he had some of the best years of his career wearing a Heat uniform. In fact, he made the one and only All-Star appearance of his career during the 2017-18 season with the Heat.

The veteran guard has spent time with the Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks since leaving South Beach in 2021, but nearing the end of his career, Dragic may be having thoughts about a reunion. While appearing on 560 Sports WQAM in Miami, the former Heat guard talked about nearing retirement and the possibility of playing his final seasons with the Heat.

“I mean, look, how should I put it? I live here, my kids are here, so definitely if I am looking to finish my career, I mean, it would be a no-brainer to finish in Miami,” Dragic said. “This is my home. I spent an unbelievable seven years here. I love all the players, all the people in the front office… This is the city that I see myself in the future, so hell yeah, why not?”

Currently in the midst of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets, the Heat are not necessarily giving a lot of thought to who they could potentially target in free agency, but they will have at least one open roster spot.

Long-time big man Udonis Haslem has made it clear that this is his final season in the league and Dragic could very well fill his role as a veteran mentor on the end of Miami’s bench. At 37-years-old, Dragic is nearing nearing the end of the line in his career and he is certainly an experienced player that could aid Miami’s locker room and youth. Not to mention, he holds a strong relationship with some of the veterans on this team like Butler, Adebayo and even head coach Erik Spoelstra.

There will not be a demand for Dragic entering the offseason, so if the Heat are interested in having him in the same role as Haslem has held through the years, it appears as if the veteran guard will be extremely happy to be back.

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Erik Spoelstra sounds off on Heat going ice cold in NBA Finals Game 1 vs. Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets struck first in the NBA Finals with a 104-93 win against the Miami Heat. One of the staples of the Heat offense through their first three playoff series was the consistency from their three-point shooters. That was not the case in Game 1 as the Heat combined to shoot only 13-39 from the three-point line. That’s not horrible, but it’s not very good either and certainly not conducive to winning a playoff series. The Heat have to be better from three-point range in Game 2, specifically Caleb Martin and Max Strus. Their Game 1 struggles aren’t too worrisome for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra though. After the game Spoelstra spoke about what he expects heading into Game 2 via ClutchPoints’ own Tomer Azarly.

“They’re fine, they’re not going to get sick at sea. If they’re shooters, you’re not always going to be able to make all the shots you want,” Erik Spoelstra said. “Then you have to find different ways to impact the game. Our game is not built just on the three-point ball. We’ve proven that time and time again. We can win games, we can win series regardless of how the three is going. But we also have ignitable guys who see a couple go through, that all of a sudden can become an avalanche.”

In Game 1, Max Strus and Caleb Martin combined to shoot 1-11 from three-point range. That’s not going to get it done when both players are starters. Spoelstra and the Heat will need much better offensive production from those two players if the Heat want to make the NBA Finals competitive.

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Jay Williams drops spicy take on Erik Spoelstra’s legacy ahead of NBA Finals

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is one of the most accomplished coaches in NBA history. In his 15 years as the head coach of the Heat, he has led Miami to 12 postseason appearances, six NBA Finals appearances, and two NBA titles. Sure, Spoelstra has coached plenty of great players along the way, such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Jimmy Butler, and Bam Adebayo, which no doubt were invaluable to Miami’s postseason success. But any coach needs talented players to win in the NBA.

On Thursday’s episode of the ESPN show, Get Up, the panel discussed the NBA Finals matchup between the Heat and the Denver Nuggets, and Jay Williams dropped a spicy take on Erik Spoelstra’s coaching legacy, per a tweet from the show’s official Twitter account:

“If [Erik Spoelstra’s] able to pull this off, even if he doesn’t, I think he’s trending towards a top-five greatest coach in NBA history.”

Erik Spoelstra, 52, began his head coaching career with the Heat in the 2008-09 season. Before taking over the head coaching reigns, Spoelstra spent 11 years earning his stripes as an assistant coach with the organization.

Spoelstra and the Miami Heat should view Thursday night’s Game 1 as a must-win game. If they can beat Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and the Denver Nuggets on their home court, the Heat will have home-court advantage in this series, and all of the pressure will be on the Nuggets to win Game 2. So here’s to hoping that Jimmy Butler can lead the Heat to a victory on Thursday.

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Heat: 4 reasons Miami will finish off shocking playoff run by beating Nuggets in 2023 NBA Finals

The 2023 NBA Finals promises a breathtaking spectacle as the Miami Heat gear up to confront the formidable Denver Nuggets. Overcoming a tumultuous season of highs and lows, the Heat have defied all odds to secure their coveted spot in the championship series. They are poised to unleash their might upon the Nuggets. Miami, of course, is bolstered by a dynamic roster. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and surprise standout Caleb Martin lead this. This article delves into four compelling factors that substantiate Miami’s claim to a triumphant NBA Finals.

Jimmy Butler’s Scoring Prowess

Jimmy Butler is the driving force behind the Heat’s playoff success. He is expected to elevate his performance to new heights in the NBA Finals. With an impressive postseason average of 28.5 points per game, Butler has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to take charge and deliver when it matters most. Equipped with both scoring finesse and unwavering tenacity on both ends of the court, Butler poses a formidable threat to the Nuggets. As a consummate clutch player, his ability to create his shot and convert crucial baskets will prove instrumental in the Heat’s relentless pursuit of victory.

Bam Adebayo’s Dominance in the Paint

Bam Adebayo has emerged as a force in the playoffs. He can showcase his versatility and impact on both ends of the floor. Beyond scoring, Adebayo possesses the prowess to control the boards and catalyze plays for his teammates. Right now, he has an impressive postseason average of 9.2 rebounds and 16.8 points per game. Adebayo’s ability to dominate the paint and impact the game defensively will be pivotal in containing Denver’s formidable center, Nikola Jokic. Adebayo’s combination of strength, agility, and basketball IQ will play a significant role in limiting Jokic’s effectiveness. He can also secure crucial rebounds, solidifying the Heat’s foothold in the Finals.

Caleb Martin’s Rise

The playoffs have witnessed the meteoric rise of Caleb Martin as a surprise star for the Heat. We expect his exceptional performance to persist in the NBA Finals. Averaging 14.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.2 triples per game, Martin’s proficiency lies in his exceptional 3-and-D capabilities. His adeptness at knocking down shots from deep not only stretches the floor but also creates driving lanes for his teammates. Moreover, his ability to guard multiple positions on the court adds a defensive versatility that allows the Heat to exploit various matchups. Martin’s contributions make him an invaluable asset in the Heat’s strategic game plan for the Finals.

The Heat’s Resilience

While the Heat enter the Finals as underdogs, they possess the indomitable spirit necessary to triumph. Having defeated formidable opponents like the Bucks, Knicks, and Celtics, the Heat exhibit the grit and determination required to overcome the Nuggets as well. Keep in mind that they have a well-rounded roster with multiple players capable of stepping up and contributing. The Heat possess the flexibility to adapt their game plan to different situations. Erik Spoelstra’s adept coaching and strategic adjustments further exploit the Nuggets’ weaknesses and optimize the Heat’s strengths. Throughout a grueling 7-game series, the Heat’s balance, resilience, and experience position them as a formidable contender to claim the championship.

As the 2023 NBA Finals draw near, the Miami Heat stand on the precipice of greatness. Jimmy Butler spearheads their charge. As such, the Heat should make an indelible mark on the Finals. The stage is set for an epic clash, where only time will reveal the outcome. One thing remains certain, though. The Heat are ready to etch their names in history by emerging triumphant in a thrilling showdown against the Nuggets.

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‘Scary’: Kendrick Perkins issues Erik Spoelstra warning to Nikola Jokic, Nuggets ahead of NBA Finals vs. Heat

Kendrick Perkins is scared for Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, not only because they are facing Jimmy Butler but also because of Erik Spoelstra.

On Twitter, Perkins couldn’t help but share his feeling that Spoelstra is really hungry to win the title after hearing all the interviews he has done. The former NBA big man also heaped praise on Spoelstra’s ability as a coach before noting that it’s “scary” for the Nuggets.

“The more Erik Spoelstra interviews I hear the more I love this man as a Coach!!! You can see it in his eyes and hear it his voice that he want this Championship more than anybody. That’s SCARY!!!! Just saying…” Perkins shared.

Erik Spoelstra has been such a great stabilizing force for the Heat over the past years, though that has been more evident in the 2023 playoffs. When it looked like Miami was on the verge of collapsing in the Eastern Conference Finals, he kept the team composed and steered them in the right direction. In the end, they prevented the Boston Celtics from making history and secured their ticket to the NBA Finals.

As Kendrick Perkins said it, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets will have to worry more than just Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Caleb Martin. With a battle tested tactician in Coach Spo leading the Heat, the battle could very well be more difficult than what they are expecting.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals is set on Thursday at Ball Arena.

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Heat’s Erik Spoelstra gives Michael Malone, Nuggets their flowers prior to NBA Finals showdown

All eyes are on the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets with the NBA Finals right around the corner. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra praised Nuggets head coach Michael Malone during NBA Finals Media Day, per NBA on Twitter.

“I also think you do have to credit and acknowledge Denver’s culture,” Spoelstra said. “They have a very strong culture. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the two teams been able to have sustained success and they’ve done a great job of building their culture. Mike and his staff have just done a tremendous job of building a system that fits perfectly around their two top players.”

Spoelstra understands that upsetting the Nuggets won’t be a simple task. The Heat have worked hard to reach the Finals, but the Nuggets are a team that does “all the right things” according to Spoelstra.

“They do all the right things,” Spoelstra continued. “You’re not going to have any kind of weaknesses or glitches or cracks… we feel the same way about our group. I just think it’s set up for great competition.”

Although the Nuggets are favored over the Heat, Denver isn’t taking anything for granted. They understand just how resilient this Miami team is. The Heat had to overcome the NBA Play-In Tournament to even reach the playoffs, where they were met with a first round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks. Miami never looked back though and now find themselves with an opportunity to win the NBA Finals.

As Spoelstra said, this Heat-Nuggets Finals clash is “set up for great competition.”

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Heat’s Erik Spoelstra couldn’t care less about the altitude narratives vs Nuggets

The Miami Heat are preparing to take the altitude head on vs. the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals. Although it figures to play a role in the series, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra couldn’t seem to care less about the narratives surrounding the altitude, reports Tomer Azarly.

A blunt response from Erik Spoelstra, although a response that could be expected from him. He has shown to tell it how it is throughout his career and this postseason; it evidently is working with another appearance from Spoelstra and the Heat in the NBA Finals.

Although the altitude will play a role in the game, that is not something the Heat can really control and thus should be worrying about something else. In the end, Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray will be the two biggest factors that could lead to the Heat’s demise, and hence should be the primary focus ahead of Thursday’s Game 1.

While Spoelstra is being coy with the media, there is little doubt that the Heat are taking the correct precautions in having their bodies ready to play in the high altitude. In Miami, the Heat play at pretty much sea level, so it will definitely be an adjustment.

In the end, the altitude should not play the biggest of roles on the grandest stage in the NBA. It would be hard not to play with an extra motivation in the NBA Finals and Heat players will probably be filled with enough adrenaline to ignore the altitude. The Heat will have to, as the Nuggets will be their toughest opponent yet and a team that certainly does not need any other advantages than they already have.

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