Despite having the towering odds in front of them and thunderstorms wrecking their camp again on Friday, Erik Spoelstra won’t let the adversities swallow his Miami Heat team to continue fighting in the 2023 NBA Finals.
But the fact that there are mixed emotions already brewing around his team’s locker room in the aftermath of their painful Game 4 loss, the beloved mentor understands the low morale. As such, he still has that optimism that eventually, they’ll be able to get over the hump.
“I told the guys, feel whatever you want to feel tonight. That’s fine. You probably shouldn’t sleep tonight any amount of time. I don’t think anybody will,” he said.
“We have an incredibly competitive group. We’ve done everything the hard way, and that’s the way it’s gonna have to be done again. All we’re going to focus on is getting this thing back to the 305. Get this thing back to Miami and things can shift very quickly.”
As they devastatingly dropped for the second-straight game at home, Miami is in the deep hole and in a 1-3 series disadvantage against Denver – on the cusp of ultimately falling down with their dreams of a title turning to dust.
But things didn’t come easy for the Heat all season long. They fought their way up as an underestimated eighth-seeded club. Indeed, the rest was already carved in the record books, and the only thing that motivates them is how far they’ve been in this magical Cinderella run.
Stepping themselves into Denver’s hostile territory on Monday can only be either pressuring or intensifying. But for Spoelstra, all should know the answer about the urgent response of his never-say-die units.
“It’s going to be a gnarly game in Denver that’s built for the competitors that we have in our locker room. By the time we get on that plane, all we’re thinking about is get this thing back to Miami,” Spoelstra said.
“We get an opportunity to play a super competitive game and a great environment. That’s going to be an awesome environment. Our guys are built for that, they love that, and particularly I’m sure everything in the next three days in between, we understand what the narrative will be. But that’s the way it is with our team.”
History has been harsh for previous teams who went down and are looking to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.
Throughout 36 different occurrences, only the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers have managed to pull an iconic comeback and emerge victorious to win the championship. Starring LeBron James, the Cavs destroyed the regular season record-setting Golden State Warriors en route to a fairy tale finish for the entire city of Cleveland’s first pro title after a 52-year drought.
The inspiring Heat team is unfazed to create another epic story tagged to them. The fact that they fully accept the upcoming challenge and are eager to complete the unthinkable, Spoelstra is loving their chances to compete until their last breath.
“It doesn’t matter about confidence or not confidence or how we feel or what our mood is. Our guys love to compete,” he said. “We get another opportunity to compete and take this thing one step at a time. Get this thing back to 305 and we do that, that’s how quickly things can change.
“Obviously we got some things to figure out but we have an extra day to do that. But the mindset, you don’t have to question that.”