Spoelstra Says Heat Are Ready for Championship Season at Disney

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) sets up a play during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra put the focus on basketball this week, as he addressed the media via video conference.

Wednesday was the first date of mandatory workouts, ahead of the NBA’s plan to start playing again at Disney World later this month.

Spoelstra told reporters that no Heat player other than Derrick Jones Jr. has tested positive for COVID-19.

He added, “Derrick is quarantining. He’s working out, doing Zoom workouts.”

The coach also said all 17 players will be part of the group of 35 people in the team’s traveling party.

On that note, he explained, “We’re bringing all 17 guys for a reason. We think our depth really is one of our biggest strengths.”

In terms of using that depth during the Aug. 1-Oct. 13 run to an NBA title, Spoelstra noted, “I really think it’s going to be more of a sprint than a marathon.”

He says the team is taking every possible precaution from the virus.

As far as the the Heat’s eight “seeding” games, he says, “Competition matters and we’re going to approach that appropriately,” adding, “We’re not going to go up there and waste each other’s times.”

In that same competitive spirit, Spoelstra believes, “I think this might be certainly the most worthy of all championships in the NBA.”

Lastly, he says the team has discussed systemic racism and will make that an ongoing priority.

Sounds like they’re ready to “turn up the Heat!”

SHARE