HomeBasketball TodayCoach Spo's Inspiring Speech Fires up Heat Players as they Clinch Playoff...

Coach Spo’s Inspiring Speech Fires up Heat Players as they Clinch Playoff Spot

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The Miami Heat are playoff bound after winning a do-or-die game in the Play-In Tournament

For the 13th time in Erik Spoelstra‘s 16 seasons as the head coach of the Miami Heat, the Hardest working, Best conditioned, Most professional, Unselfish, Toughest, Meanest, Nastiest team in the NBA is playoff bound. The fact that the Heat are here yet again is a testament to the work of the many players who have played for the Heat organization in that time, of Pat Riley who has played such an integral role in building championship caliber teams, and yes, to Coach Erik Spoelstra, who since taking over as head coach in Miami in 2008 has led the Heat to more postseason wins (109) than any other franchise in the NBA during that span.

This year, as was the case last year, the Heat needed to overcome the hurdle that the NBA Play-In Tournament represents. After dropping a winnable game to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night that could’ve clinched Miami the 7-seed and a 1st Round matchup with the New York Knicks, the Heat were tasked with defeating the Chicago Bulls in a do-or-die game for the 8-seed for the second straight year, and for the second straight year, the Heat emerged victoriousearning their way into the postseason yet again. After the game, Erik Spoelstra’s message to his team touched on the hard road the Heat have been forced to take in order to get to the postseason again, and how earning it has given Spo such an appreciation for this group.

The difficult road is one that the Miami Heat have travelled before, but this may be their most improbable championship chase yet. This will be the seventh time in Spoelstra’s tenure that the Heat will play the Celtics in the NBA Playoffs — the Heat have a 4-2 edge in those series’ as things stand right now — and never before has Miami been a bigger underdog than they are against an historically great Boston Celtics team that cruised to 64 wins in the regular season.

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A date with Boston would be tough enough even at full health, but that’s not something that the Heat can currently boast. Jimmy Butler suffered an MCL sprain in the Heat’s Play-In loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, and he’ll be sidelined for several weeks, all but ensuring that he won’t see the floor at all in this series versus Boston. But Butler isn’t the only player in the Heat rotation whose status is iffy. Terry Rozier and Duncan Robinson both enter the postseason dealing with injuries of their own, and we didn’t see either of them in either of Miami’s two Play-In games.

Even a healthy Heat team would’ve been considerable underdogs versus the Celtics, but this skeleton crew will be given no chance by practically every prognosticator out there. But you better believe that to a man inside that Miami locker room, there is a wholehearted belief that Heat Culture will win out once again against the Celtics.

 


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