By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Not many people thought the Miami Heat would make the NBA Playoffs this year. Then nobody thought they would beat the Milwaukee Bucks, the New York Knicks or the Boston Celtics. The only people who believed in all of this was Erik Spoelstra and the entire Heat organization.
On Monday night, Miami shocked the NBA world once again by advancing to the NBA Finals after defeating the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Spoelstra is just the seventh coach in NBA history to reach the Finals at least six times, and he is looking to win his third championship as the head coach in Miami. Fight and resilience are two words that stick out when talking about this Heat team, and Spoelstra echoed this message in his postgame remarks.
“We have some incredible competitors in that locker room,” Spoelstra said. “They love the challenge. They love putting themselves out there in front of everybody. Open to criticism. Open to everything. But to compete for it, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Going up 3-0 on the Celtics early on in this series, the Heat looked like they were on the brink of utter collapse when they then lost three straight games to Boston. Keeping a level head though and staying in the fight, the Heat got back to who they were used to being in Game 7 in order to advance to the NBA Finals.
“We have a bunch of guys that just love competition. Just drop us off anywhere and compete for it,” Spoelstra continued. “Put ourselves out there, open to all the criticism and everything… We don’t care what the rest of the world is saying. We don’t care who is criticizing who. You’ve got to line up between these four lines and let’s figure this out.
“I think that’s the nature of this team that I think a lot of people respect, because we’ve had our fair share of setbacks and disappointments, frustration, but we just keep on picking ourselves up and getting on to the next fight.”
The next fight that awaits the Heat is the final fight of their season, as two-time league MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets are awaiting their arrival to Denver.