Feb 18, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and small forward LeBron James (6) before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Heat defeated the Mavericks 117-106. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Is the Regular Season Just a Formality for Miami Heat?

When the Indianapolis Colts had Peyton Manning, they were a staple in the postseason and they really just coasted through the regular season as though it was nothing. They managed to have some very special years but for the most part it was an appetizer for the postseason and they might as well have just taken a playoff spot in Week 1 because we all knew it was coming.

That’s the case for the Miami Heat, only there are 66 more games for the Heat than the Colts had to play and the question of the regular season being a formality for the Heat is even more relevant. Ira Winderman brought this up over the weekend and noted not that it’s a formality but that it’s an even harder job for Erik Spoelstra from year to year.

Per Winderman:

Next season, they could decide .500 is good enough, with Dwyane Wade perhaps taking half the season off. That’s what makes it all the more challenging for Spoelstra, to get a system in place that is playoff viable without pushing his players too hard too early. This team has been built for the moments that matter the most. So far, Spoelstra and the Heat have been up to those moments.

I’ve been saying this for years — as a Bulls fan — that the league overlooks Erik Spoelstra’s role on this Heat team way too much and he deserves a lot more love than he receives. It’s not an easy task to keep a team that is already in the postseason on opening night motivated through the year but Spo manages to keep the team not only competitive but keeps them on an even keel all season long so that the postseason is almost as clockwork as the regular season is.

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