Injuries during losing skid are no excuse for the Miami Heat
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has always used a no-excuse approach during periods of struggle.
With the Heat in the middle of a poor stretch, where they have lost six of the last eight games, he refuses to blame it on injuries. The Heat have not been at full strength since the start of a five-game road trip before the NBA All-Star Break. The woes continued with a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday.
"Whoever is out there, we've got enough," Spoelstra told reporters in Cleveland. "It doesn't matter who or against who. We've had similar lineups out there where we've been able to get the job done. We' just weren't able to (Monday night)."
The Heat have played the last eight games without rotation players Tyler Herro and Meyers Leonard, who are expected to miss Wednesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at AmericanAirlines Arena. Guard and leading scorer Jimmy Butler was unavailable the past two games because of a personal issue. His ability the remainder of the week remains in question. He also missed two games on the road trip due to a shoulder injury. A few weeks ago, the roster was so thinned the Heat had to call up three players from their G League affiliate in Sioux Falls.
Spoelstra is more concerned with the Heat's inconsistencies than who is on the court. They've had issues with stringing together consecutive strong quarters during the skid.
"You can't always count on making 19s threes or doubling up what we did in the first half, 12 threes and balls going in," Spoelstra said. "But we gave up a 35-point second quarter, already saw signs of an inability to sustain a great effort in the first quarter."
Spoelstra also shot down the notion of the Heat playing down to the level of competition. They have lost 10 games to teams with losing records.
"It has nothing to do with the level of competition," Spoelstra said. "You have to give them credit. They played hard, they played well. They made it difficult for us."