Though Improving, Coach Spo seeks more defensive commitment from Miami Heat

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra complains about a call during their game against the Golden State Warriors(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra complains about a call during their game against the Golden State Warriors(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

As the Miami Heat begin to think they are about to take a step forward, they instantly take a step back. After winning two games against the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors, they would go to Indiana to drop one on Friday night.

On the backs of two buzzer-beating shot attempts from Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, respectively, Herro wouldn’t be able to get his last-second shot attempt to go in Indiana. And though you could question the shot attempt, both that one and the previous one that had gone the Miami Heat’s way against the Sacramento Kings, that’s not why the Miami Heat weren’t able to win that game.

Yes, Jimmy Butler’s presence in the lineup certainly helps there, daring to say that they do, indeed, win if he’s in the lineup. However, they could help themselves by playing a more disciplined, cohesive, energetic, and Miami Heat brand of basketball.

The Miami Heat continue to tinker, though there are some things to like. As stated by Coach Spoelstra, he still seeks more defensive commitment though.

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And Coach Spoelstra said as much in his most recent postgame back and forth with the media. Here it is.

This is the part that really stuck out though. Prompted by a reporter’s question, Coach Spoelstra would respond this way:

"I don’t really care what our scheme is, I just want us to commit—defensively, to do tough things that are required in this league. The skill level is so high and the shooting and the passing and the spread offenses that it doesn’t matter what our scheme is.You have to commit to making multiple efforts, to doing the tough things, the intangibles, all the little things, and to build a stable reliable top flight defense. We’re not there yet but we’re making progress. We just have to keep plugging away and improving in both man and zone."

And that’s just it! It has never mattered what the Miami Heat did, as far as philosophy, or who they rostered, which may have gone into determining said philosophy—well, at least, not offensively. And that’s because they always make their money in the other areas of the game.

They always tend to be one of the hardest working, most disciplined, and best defensive teams in the league and if they continue to lean into, exercise, and maximize that philosophy, they should always be able to continue their contending ways regardless of what they are doing on the other side of the ball.

Those are the principles that Coach Spoelstra were leaning into here and he’s exactly right. And that’s in both areas, the general need to be better and the belief that the Miami Heat will get there in due time.

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Because more often than not, that’s what they do.