by Micah Hart
– Heat coach Erik Spoelstra isn’t particularly known for playing head games with his players. Admitting to the public that members of his team are in tears feels like more of a Phil Jackson move.
– Who was crying? The pressure on the Heat is really only felt by three players — the rest are just along for the ride. Just sayin’.
There is a tendency amongst us all to view everything through the prism of immediacy, especially as sports fans. When the Heat started 9-8, I was amongst the chorus who quickly judged the Heat to be inferior. Then, when they reeled off a 21-1 stretch, I felt silly for having written them off so quickly. But hey, that’s how we are as fans.
Players, generally speaking, don’t necessarily react this way, or at least the players on the top-level teams. They know the game is a grind, and tomorrow is another day, and all those sports cliches they feed us. They have to keep a level head, because emotion often interrupts execution.
Which is why the mood in the Miami locker room after today’s last-minute defeat at the hands of the Bulls is a little surprising. Yes, the Heat are flailing, having dropped four straight. Yes, the Heat have struggled against the best teams in the league all season (they are now 1-9 against the top 3 seeds in each conference). But this is still a team with two of the best three or four players on the planet — if this slide is too much for them to handle, the playoffs could be a short and bumpy ride…