Nick FriedelESPN staff writer3 minutes to read
boston – Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is confident his team has weathered the emotional end of a heartbreaking Game 6 loss to the Boston Celtics, and will respond well in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night.
The team regrouped after Derrick White’s tumultuous thump Saturday night “by the next day,” Spoelstra said, and he believes he’ll do what he needs to do to earn his second trip to the NBA Finals in four seasons.
“Everyone’s fine,” Spoelstra said after Monday’s shooting. “We have great mental stability with our group, and we understand we have a great bold goal. It’s not just this game, it’s just not this series. So there’s going to be a lot of things that happen along the way. Like me he said after the game. [Saturday]We have a lot of experience, unfortunately, with these kind of losses, but we’ve come back and we also have experience recovering from those losses in a very strong way.”
Heat players repeated the same theme on Monday, believing they were ready for the challenge after losing three straight games to the Celtics and trying to avoid becoming the first team in NBA history to lose a playoff series after leading 3-0.
“The way I see it is, any way we make history,” said Heat guard Gabe Vincent. “Which side of history do we want to be on? So we are looking forward to this opportunity.”
The mood around the Heat was loose Monday as they took shot after shot with Rick Ross blasting from a megaphone on the floor of the TD Garden.
“We were blessed with the opportunity to play in Game Seven,” said Heat guard Max Strauss. “We’re back in the position we were in last year. We’re all excited. We’re ready for it. We’re ready to compete. I can’t wait for the ball to be up in the air and you get this thing going.”
Spoelstra has time and again drawn strength from the fact that the Heat have gone through a variety of close games all season and found a way to bounce back. He remains steadfast that his team, who may become only the second player in NBA history to reach the Finals, is ready for the challenge.
“Our men love competition, and our men are the men in the ring—so we know what it’s like,” he said. “And when you try to accomplish something that’s very difficult, there will be bumps, there will be hard times. But I’m really happy for our guys, they’re going to experience Game 7. …
“It’s what you dream about. You spend all your time training in the summer for moments like this. It’s not for everyone, but we’re not.”
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