Miami Heat will learn on the fly during NBA restart

Shandel Richardson

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wishes there was a blueprint for tackling the restart of the NBA season.

Unfortunately, there is no playbook for something he has never experienced.

The Heat enter a new realm when they head to Orlando after a nearly four-month layoff because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"To be frank, we're all going to have to find out when we get there," Spoelstra said. "It's not like we have experiences to pull from. We want to try to fast track. I think our conditioning level will allow us to do that ... I"m just going to have to see. I'm looking forward to that first practice and getting out there."

The Heat are among the 22 teams that will conclude the regular season with eight games. They have already clinched a playoff berth, ensuring an extended stay in "the bubble."

Although the conditions of players regaining game shape aren't ideal, the suspension of the season did allow the Heat to get healthy. The time off was especially beneficial for center Meyers Leonard and guard Tyler Herro, who were dealing with ankle issues before the break.

"Those weeks off for Meyers was exactly what he needed," Spoelstra said. "Tyler, by the first three weeks or month after the season shut down, he was feeling 100 percent. The same thing goes for Gabe Vincent and Kyle Alexander. That time has been really good for all of those guys, not only just to get the required rest but then to start out appropriately of doing rehab, strengthening and agility. Even though they were on Zoom workout, I think that progress everybody."

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