He can posture.
He can bristle.
He did both Tuesday evening.
But nothing Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says changes the reality of the situation confronting his team as it comes out of the All-Star break: how to manage the remainder of the forced march that is the NBA regular season.
Miami holds a commanding four-game lead on New York for first place in the East, which means the Heat – barring an apocalyptic wreck – likely will enter the playoffs two months hence as the top-seeded team in its half of the bracket.
But should they attempt to chase down current Western Conference and overall leader San Antonio for the No. 1 place in the entire post-season tournament?
The Spurs entered Tuesday night with a two-game lead on Miami in the loss column. And they will wake Wednesday morning having played five more games than the Heat, which means a lighter workload for San Antonio than Miami until the playoff bell rings.
Or should the Heat prioritize rest for LeBron James, who logs huge minutes as a matter of routine, and Dwyane Wade, an elder who has accumulated big (and rugged) career mileage?
Spoelstra, speaking after practice, recoiled at the inquiry before all but spitting out a reply.
“That bugs the heck out of me,” Spoelstra said. “We’re not going to start talking about maintenance now. That’s this generation of media’s obsession about when do we start sitting guys. We have 32 games left. That’s absurd.”
No, it isn’t.
It’s not too early for Miami Heat to think about getting key players some rest
Palm Beach Post | Feb 20