As the Miami Heat prepare to face the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, they know exactly what kind of games they will see.
After Monday's practice, Spoelstra said that Pat's probably going to enjoy this. If both teams are playing well, this should be a series where neither team scores more than 130 points. Both teams are disciplined to schemes and make multiple efforts on defense. There will be a lot of plays in the margins. That is what you expect. We were the two best teams in the East most of the season and we are moving into the conference finals.
While discussing the challenges the Celtics pose in this series, the Heat speak with a lot of respect. The Celtics group that just finished off the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday is similar to the Heat group that just finished off the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.
Heat swingman Jimmy Butler said that either Boston or Milwaukee is a really, really, really good team. We are looking forward to it. I guess you have to beat the best to be the best.
In order to beat the Celtics, the team must play great team defense on the Celtics star.
He's one of the best in the game right now, and I think he does a great job of drawing attention to himself. I think those are the guys that you want to go up against and you have to respect that.
The fact that the Heat have won in so many different ways throughout the year is the reason they remain steadfast in their belief. If they want to advance to the NBA Finals, they have to find a way no matter who is on the floor because of Kyle Lowry's uncertain status.
Veteran forward P.J. Tucker said that they have done it with many different lineups. We had G League guys come and help us win games that we have figured out a way to do all year. We have figured it out all year, we missed Jimmy and Kyle for a while.
I think every player on our team has that next man up mentality and people have stepped up all year. I think that gives us that confidence and that genuine want and nature to win together, because everybody on this team cares.
Both of them said the same thing with Game 1 looming on Tuesday night.
"Our guys love competition and love being challenged," he said. That is what we are facing. Boston has played as well as any other team in the league. It is not an accident. They are playing very well. They do it on both ends.
I really want to clarify. It will not be like football. We don't need anyone thinking they need to clean it up. It is not going to be like that. If both teams are playing at a high level, it shouldn't be 150-point games.