Spoelstra, Heat looking forward to fresh start and new season

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra watches from the sideline during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) (Carlos Osorio, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – The Miami Heat are ready to return to basketball.

The Heat start training camp on Tuesday.

On Monday at FTX Arena, the team held media day.

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told Local 10, “Doing great. We’ve all had an offseason to be able to disconnect, get away from things, recharge, spend time with our families. It was an extraordinary 16 months, it’s still going, it’s not like everything is behind us now. But I think there’s a genuine enthusiasm and excitement not just about the challenge that we have ahead of us, but also this new group and this new team.”

Spoelstra said the team will not make any excuses for last year. He said the team was playing their best basketball at the end of the year, but were beaten by a better opponent.

The Heat had a big offseason adding veterans Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker, who both bring championship experience to the roster.

Spoelstra said, “We have a group that we feel are likeminded in terms of approach to competition and approach to taking on big, audacious challenges... you need some real competitors and guys who have had experience at the highest level.”

Spoelsta complimented that the team has added guys who have a work ethic to go along with the experience.

On Lowry, Spoelstra said, “I think Kyle is one of the ultimate winners and competitors in this league. So you can check a lot of boxes in terms of his stats, or awards, or All-NBAs, or the championship doing it on both ends of the court... I think what really separates him is his mind for the game.”

On the team’s improvement, Spoelstra said winning in the Playoffs is layered and complex depending on the opponent.

The Heat’s coach thinks the team is capable of winning with several different styles.

Spoelstra said, “We are who we are at the Heat. Since Pat and Micky took over 25 years ago, it’s all about competing for titles. We also have the humility to know how difficult that is and this is a very competitive league. East is loaded up and is considerably deeper and that’s the type of challenge our group wants.”

About the Author:

David Lang is executive producer of the Local 10 sports department.