Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra Makes Damning Statement Amid ‘Wasted’ Opportunity

Erik Spoelstra Heat-Hawks

Getty Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra reacts during a game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Boring, lifeless, uninspiring — these are just some of the adjectives people have used on social media to describe the Miami Heat‘s 25-point loss to a struggling Dallas Mavericks team on Saturday night. And those labels are apropos given the way things unfolded.

Aside from a Kyle Lowry layup giving the Heat a 2-0 advantage to start the game, Miami trailed for the duration en route to a 90-point performance (one of their three-worst scoring outputs of the season to date). Meanwhile, Luka Doncic and Co. dropped 18 three-point bombs on the other end to fuel the blowout.

In the wake of the loss, a somber Erik Spoelstra had his own adjective to describe what transpired with his team. And it may have been the most damning of the bunch given the speed with which the stretch run of the 2022-23 season is approaching.

Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra Laments ‘Wasted’ Game Against Mavericks

Spoelstra injected a dose of realism into the postgame media scrum, asserting that games like Saturday’s are bound to occur at times during the 82-game marathon that is an NBA season. This one just hit a little bit harder.

“There’s some days in this league you’re just not going to play well. There are some days where you’re just going to get beat. There’s some days you’re just going to get beat convincingly,” said Spoelstra.

“What was disappointing about tonight is it was just a wasted day. We didn’t get better and we don’t have a lot of days to kick down the road.”

He’s not wrong. While the Heat have played better of late, winning 13 of their last 20 games, they still haven’t fully climbed out of the hole created by a sub-.500 start. With less than half of the season left to play, they’re closer to the 13th-place Orlando Magic in the East standings than the top-ranked Boston Celtics.

And by allowing a Mavs team that ranks 25th league-wide defensively — the result of  conceding 114.7 points per 100 possessions — to dictate the game’s terms on the that end, they aren’t exactly inspiring confidence in a late-season rebound.

Spoelstra Gives Credit Where Credit Is Due

As bad as Miami was against the Mavs, Doncic — who put up 34 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in the contest — and his teammates deserve credit for taking the Heat out of their game early and often. And Spo had no qualms about giving it to them.

“Dallas played great. They had the edge tonight, certainly. They were coming off of three straight losses and obviously highly motivated since they’ve been giving up a lot of points,” Spoelstra said.

“They had the better disposition; they took control of the game and we just never were able to have that competitive disposition that we’ve had virtually all season long. So, that’s basically it.”

In the end, though, it was the lost progress and his squad’s inability to stay true to their hard-nosed, #HeatCulture identity that stood out to him the most.

“You know, I just don’t like as a head coach wasting nights, particularly as we’re trying to to gain some rhythm and and get our health and and get everybody on the same page.”

Spo and Co. will have a chance to right the ship in their return to FTX Arena on Sunday when they play host to the New Orleans Pelicans.

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