Entries in Erik Spoelstra (20)


Whiteside Posts Triple Double in Heat Win

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(CHICAGO, Ill.) -- On way to a victory over the Chicago Bulls, a remarkable event occurred for the Miami Heat. Hassan Whiteside, a center who has worked on his craft in the Developmental League, recorded a triple double for the Heat in their 96-84 win.

By putting up 14 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks, Whiteside recorded his first career triple-double. He also did this in 25 minutes of action; achieving the feat in the second shortest period of time in the shot clock era. 

"It's a blessing. Like I told my teammates, you won't believe how things work out in life," said Whiteside. "Three months ago I was at the downtown Y just chilling, working on my game. I couldn't get a team to pick up the phone."

A second round pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2010, many teams chose to steer themselves away from Whiteside because of questions about his attitude. After working on his craft overseas and in the D-League, Whiteside signed with the Heat in November.

“That’s what the team needs,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “It gives us a very different dimension. It’s a credit to him for continuing to work hard and match it with his talent.”

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Heat Advance to Eastern Conference Finals 

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(MIAMI) --  Don't look now, but the Miami Heat are back in the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth year in a row.

LeBron James and Dwayne Wade combined to score 57 points as the Heat rallied to defeat the Brooklyn Nets 96-94 on Wednesday night, winning their second-round matchup in five games.

"When we met the first day for prep, we said the No. 1 key, overwhelmingly the No. 1 key in this series, was great mental stability," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the two-time defending champions won their 10th straight playoff series.

The Nets led by eight with under five minutes remaining and were looking to take the series back to Brooklyn for Game 6. The Heat went on a 12-0 run to take the lead for good, while the Nets missed nine straight shots. Ray Allen hit a huge three-pointer to give Miami a 93-91 lead with 32 seconds remaining.

"Give the Heat credit," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "They were attacking there in the fourth quarter. We were attacking. Both teams were attacking. They made plays, they made shots and we didn't."

Joe Johnson led the Nets with 34 points, while Paul Pierce chipped in 19.

Miami will face either the Indiana Pacers or the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference finals.

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Heat Rout Nets to Take 1-0 Series Lead

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- The Brooklyn Nets went 4-0 against the Miami Heat during the regular season, but all that went out the window on Tuesday night.

LeBron James scored 22 points as the Heat routed the Nets 107-86 to take a 1-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

"It's one," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But I liked the energy, the activity."

Ray Allen added 19 points off the bench for Miami, who blew the game open with a 24-9 run in the third quarter.

Deron Williams and Joe Johnson each scored 17 points in a losing effort for Brooklyn. Kevin Garnett went scoreless in a postseason game for the first time in his career. He grabbed four rebounds in 16 minutes of action.

"This is the defending champs," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "It's always going to be at a high level and we've got to find a way to match it."

Game 2 will be played on Thursday night in South Beach.

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Nets Complete Season Sweep of Heat in Thriller 

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport (MIAMI) --  Meet the Brooklyn Nets, the only NBA team this season to go undefeated against the Miami Heat.

Rookie Mason Plumlee blocked LeBron James' dunk attempt at the rim with two seconds left, and the Nets hung on to edge the two-time defending champs 88-87 on Tuesday night.

With the victory, the Nets (43-34), finished off a four-game regular season sweep of Miami. With time running down in the fourth quarter, James rose up for a dunk attempt and was met at the rim by Plumlee.  Replays showed Joe Johnson made some contact with James as he started his move and that Plumlee hit his hand on the dunk try, but the Heat never got a foul call as time expired.

"He grabbed my right hand," James said after his 29 point, 10 rebound performance. "He didn't do it on purpose, but he got my right hand."

Brooklyn became the first team in the last two years to sweep the Heat. Johnson led the way with 19 points, while Paul Pierce chipped in 14.

"They're a good team," Spoelstra said. "They're one of the hotter teams since All-Star break. Every single one of these games, however you want to slice it, however you get to that point, there are plays to be made in the fourth quarter. And for whatever reason, they've made more plays."

With the loss the Heat (53-24), saw its lead in the Eastern Conference shrink down to a half-game over the Indiana Pacers.  The two teams will meet in Miami for the final time in the regular season on Friday night.

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Heat Burn Bulls Without LeBron James 

Marc Serota/ Getty Images Sport (MIAMI) --  No LeBron James?  No problem. Dwayne Wade scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Miami Heat torched the Chicago Bulls 93-79 on Sunday -- without four-time MVP James in the lineup.

James sat for just the second time this season after he suffered a broken nose in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last week.  He watched from the bench as his teammates got the job done.

"We were missing a pretty big man," Wade said. "There's nothing we can do to replace the best player in the world, but we just had to go out there and play team basketball on both ends of the floor."

Chris Bosh added 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat. Former No. 1 pick Greg Oden started in place of James. It was his first NBA start since December 2009, helping the Heat (40-14) pull away in the second half.

"You don't want to see guys out," said coach Erik Spoelstra, who earned his 300th career victory. "But when guys are out, I'm always curious to see how you respond as a team. We've have several of these games that could have been excuse games, but guys have stepped up."

Joakim Noah led the Bulls (29-26) with 20 points and 15 rebounds. They had their five-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the two-time defending champs.

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LeBron Injured as Heat Romp Thunder 

Jim McIssac/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY) --  LeBron James scored 33 points as the Miami Heat romped the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-81 on Thursday night, but his teammates had to finish the game without him.

James went down with 5:50 remaining after he was hit by Thunder forward Serge Ibaka while driving to the hoop.  He finished off the dunk, but was bleeding and had to leave the court with a towel over his face.

The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player passed a concussion test after the game, but the damage to his face was clear.

"He has a swollen nose right now. It's bleeding," Heat head coach Spoelstra said. "We'll evaluate him when we get back to Miami, but it's sore."

James scored 16 of his 33 points in the first quarter of a game that was never close.  Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each scored 24 points, guiding the Heat to its fourth straight win.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 28 points, but the team lost on its home floor for the first time since January 5.

Russell Westbrook returned to the lineup after missing the past 27 games after having surgery on his left knee.  He started and scored 16 points in 24 minutes.

"I'm just going to keep getting him better, and as the season goes along, as he gets more comfortable in game shape, we're going to see a better Russell every night," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.

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LeBron James Focused on a Three-Peat, Not Summer of 2014

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- LeBron James will not address his plans for 2014.  The two-time NBA champion is set to become a free agent next summer, but will only focus his attention on leading the Miami Heat back to another NBA title.

"You guys have to ask the questions," James said on Monday. "But I'm not going to address it. Once we get to that point (in June), then I'll address it. But I don't think it's appropriate right now. My concern is putting our team in a position to win another championship. That's my only goal, that's my only mind-frame right now."

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra signed a multiyear contract extension on Sunday isn't worried about the summer of 2014 either.

"What we talk about all the time is let's just focus on the now," Spoelstra said on Monday. "We've been trained and conditioned for this type of moment more than any other team. Our guys aren't naive to the business of basketball. And you have to respect everybody's point in their career when they become a free agent. We absolutely respect a player's opportunity to be free when the earn that opportunity. It doesn't come along very often. We have to focus on now and not become obsessed with the future."

James is entering the fourth season of a six-year contract.

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Heat Reward Head Coach Erik Spoelstra with Contract Extension

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- Job security is a rare thing in sports, but when you've won back-to-back NBA titles, it's a no brainer. The Miami Heat announced they've agreed to a contract extension with head coach Erik Spoelstra.

Spoelstra is expected to get a scheduled raise on his base salary of $3 million.

Since becoming the team's head coach, Spoelstra is 260-134. He's reached the NBA Finals the past three seasons, winning the championship the past two.

Spoelstra joined the Heat organization in 1995 as a video coordinator. Since then, he's worked his way up through the team's system. He became a scout, an assistant coach, and was then groomed by Pat Riley.

While it makes his job easier that he has Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, he has been praised for his ability to coach and manage his superstars.

Last season, the Heat won 27-straight games on the way to a 66-16 record in the regular season.

This offseason, the Heat have added center Greg Oden and forward Michael Beasley.

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Heat Focus on Bringing Back Ray Allen

Chris Trotman/Getty Images(MIAMI) -- The Miami Heat are shifting their attention to bringing back one of the players who saved their championship hopes.  Ray Allen hit the game tying three-pointer in Game 6 against the Spurs that sent them into overtime and eventually forced a game 7.

"There will certainly be communication between us and Ray," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said on Monday. "He was such an important piece of what we did. We think even if it was just that one shot, it was worth it. There were so many things that he provided. And he fit. His personality fit. His professionalism fit. He helped guys get better."

Allen could opt out of his two-year contract this weekend and test free agency next month, but his teammates believe winning this year and going for a three-peat next season will be enough to keep him in a Heat uniform.

"He's coming back," Chris Bosh said. "There's really nothing else to think about. We respect each other's space, but there's only one decision to make. So it's easy."

Allen now has two NBA titles to his name after winning in 2008 with the Boston Celtics.

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Heat Celebrate Title with Victory Parade

Aaron Davidson/WireImage(MIAMI) -- The NBA champion Miami Heat held their victory parade on Monday.  Four days removed from the franchise's third championship win, over 400,000 fans greeted them.

LeBron James on top of the double decker bus had a cigar in his mouth, Chris "Birdman" Andersen flapped his arms, and head coach Erik Spoelstra wore his championship hat backwards and saluted fans.

James now has two NBA titles to his name and two NBA Finals MVP's.

"It's the ultimate," James told Sun Sports aboard the bus.  "This is what I came down here, to be able to have a parade at the end of the year. I'm extremely blessed, man. It doesn't get any better than this."

"It hasn't hit me yet. This is unbelievable to be a part of such a great franchise and to be able to go back-to-back," James continued.

Dwyane Wade has three championships and credited the fans for sticking by the team all season long.

"It's humbling. It's very humbling to be here," Wade said. "I envision a lot of things. I can't say I envisioned this. This parade down Biscayne Boulevard was once a vision by Coach Riley and now we've taken this ride three times. It's special."

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