Despite Perfect Record In Overtime, Miami Heat Searching For More Consistency In Regulation
Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra would prefer to see it occur more during the course of the first 48 minutes.
Instead, there have been times he's had to wait until overtime before the team reaches another level. The Heat's overtime victory against the Washington Wizards Wednesday was just another example of them struggling through regulation before getting it right in the extra session.
They are 8-0 in overtime games this season.
"We have some ultra, high-level competitors in that room, guys that can guard multiple positions," Spoelstra said. "The competitiveness of the moment in an overtime game or a close fourth-quarter game brings out something in all of those guys. Clearly from the head-coaching chair, I'd like to see that more consistently throughout the course of the game. Every team is searching for that."
Even at 31-13 and holding the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Heat are still seeking another level. That involves playing consistent for four quarters to avoid these overtime close calls. Their last two wins have gone beyond regulation against non-playoff teams.
"I feel like we really kick into another gear when it's overtime," center Bam Adebayo said. "I feel like we should've got it done in (regulation) but we got it done in overtime."
The performances have been easier to stomach because they have resulted in wins. That will change if they start being on the receiving end of losses.
"We just find a way," guard Jimmy Butler said. "I'm never gonna be pissed about winning no matter how poorly we play. But I do think we have to be better, especially the starting group."
Still, the Heat will use these games as opportunity to learn. It will only prep them for the playoff push the second half of the season.
"Overall, it's probably close to 40 minutes of good basketball," Spoelstra said. "We would like more consistency. That's what we're working on. But we like the fact that those lessons will happen after an overtime win. "We've had a lot of opportunities to develop some grit, to be able to face adversity, to be able to find solutions. These things help you in the long run but it always makes coming into work the next day a little bit brighter."