MIAMI — The players and coaches don’t have much to say before tonight’s game that hasn’t already been said yesterday or today, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had some interesting comments in his pregame press conference.
Spoelstra was asked if he’d give more minutes to his stars tonight with the teams off until Saturday. He said that didn’t factor into his decision at all, but that he’s not afraid to let LeBron James and Dwyane Wade play big minutes anyway.
“LeBron has a motor like I have never seen,” said Spoelstra. “So if he needs to play 43 minutes, he can, at a pace and an intensity that we’ve become accustomed to. But I trust all the guys on our roster. And if I feel the need to go deeper – the other night we did, and it worked out well for us. We are able to give it a different look at the end of the second quarter and it worked out well.”
On Chris Bosh’s low scoring output in Game 1, Spoelstra said, “I told him he didn’t have to answer anybody’s critics. He had a big impact on our win the other night. Those 12 rebounds, we needed every single one of them. And the way he and Joel [Anthony] covered ground made up for a lot of our mistakes. It really doesn’t go noticed in the box score…he’ll probably have some bigger games offensively, but I don’t want him going out of who he is.”
And on Rajon Rondo, Spoelstra waxed poetic.
“We’ll see a different Rondo tonight. He’ll be much more aggressive. It was highly unusual for him to have three fouls in the first half and have to sit out most of the second quarter. I think what he did in the second half is more likely. That’s who we’re prepared for and who he’s been against us.
“He’s at his most dangerous self when it’s most unscripted. An offensive rebound, a loose ball, a broken play. That’s when you relax for a second and he breaks you down.”
More white shirts on every seat here for Game 2 as the fans begin to file in. Back with plenty more from American Airlines Arena.