5 Key Moments from Media Availability with Spoelstra, Dragic, DJJ

The Miami Heat had an earlier practice than usual on Thursday, while other teams are preparing for the first regular season game of the restart tonight. This was the first official practice for the Heat that will prepare them for these types of regular season games. Well, here’s what they had to say about their preparation for Saturday against the Denver Nuggets…

Post-Practice Comment #1:

Coach Erik Spoelstra talks a little about the preparation for these regular season games coming up. He says the plan is to “adjust and play the depth as necessary.” This is definitely a major advantage for the Heat, as mentioned many times. It seems pretty clear that depth is the biggest strength of their team. Sometimes it seems as if Spoelstra has a little too much depth to mess around with, but this is definitely a good problem to have in this format. He also says “I have to remain open to pivot as needed.” Spoelstra is one of the only coaches that have the ability to adjust quickly and succeed at it. As there’s been many different x-factors discussed for this season, Spoelstra may be the biggest one.

Post-Practice Comment #2:

Goran Dragic seems pretty excited to get back out their on the court with the team in games that count. He said, “I can’t wait to start.” He also mentions that today’s practice was really intense, which means they’re starting to ramp stuff up a little more. These practices are being utilized right now as a type of scouting format. The coaching staff is trying to find the guys that are in the best shape right now and who they can trust. This very well may be Goran Dragic. As mentioned before, it’s been very obvious that veterans are made for this format more than young guys. Plus, Goran is one of the Heat’s primary play-makers, which will begin to be needed more and more over the course of the next few weeks.

Post-Practice Comment #3:

Derrick Jones Jr got to talk with some media today after practice as well. He starts it off discussing the Heat’s primary struggle. Defense. He said, “We just got to get a little bit better rhythm playing together. Just getting locked in on defense.” Derrick Jones Jr is one of the few guys on the roster that has the ability to fix this problem. It’s been obvious that the defensive struggles have come from the lack of defense from the Heat’s guards. And well, DJJ has the ability to match-up against other guards, which he mentions, “I want to guard the best player every night.” But, there’s a lot of question marks around what he will be able to offer offensively. It seems pretty clear that Spo will have to make a decision on what he wants to prioritize.

Post-Practice Comment #4:

Spoelstra talks a little about the importance of these scrimmage games for this Heat team. He says, “We didn’t play particularly well in our last game, but there were moments in each game where we made progress.” The Heat’s final scrimmage game was definitely a bad note to leave on, but as Spoelstra said, they’re focusing on the positive moments. These scrimmages have helped Spoelstra find the right lineups, defensive schemes, and mainly the type of environment. Last game’s disaster may be the best thing that could’ve happened to the team, since that makes them practice that much harder and truly understand what it takes to win these games.

Post-Practice Comment #5:

The Miami Heat have just released some new shirts on the social justice issues. The team wore them in practice today, which include “Enough is enough,” “Silence is compliance,” and much more. Derrick Jones Jr talked a little about the shirts, saying “I love it.” He says there are some people that aren’t very comfortable speaking about this matter, so the shirt does the talking for them. Erik Spoelstra also spoke about these shirts, saying “This is the shirt that resonates with me,” when speaking about the “Silence is compliance” shirt he was wearing. This team continues to be vocal with their stance on social justice aspects, which is one of the main reasons they wanted to get back onto the highest stage possible.

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