By Jason Schott - @JESchott19
At this morning's Miami Heat shootaround at Baruch College, Head Coach Erik Spoelstra and center Chris Bosh stressed that tonight's Game 3 in Brooklyn will be different and they cannot afford to start slowly.
Spoelstra (pictured above) said of what he expects from the Nets tonight in Game 3, "A lot of what we saw the other night was a great sense of urgency and probably more efficiency. We'll probably have to play them and try to beat them at their best tonight, and that's the way it should be, that's the way we expect it. We'll definitely have to withstand some emotional swings in the game and hopefully have a more consistent games in terms of our energy than the other night. It will have to be to give ourselves a chance to win on the road."
On playing a more complete game than Thursday night, Spoelstra said, "It's going to be all the way through. We didn't get off to the start that we wanted to the other night, and it was a little bit up and down during the course of the game - our best quarter was the fourth quarter. Our guys understand that the game we had in Game 2 is probably not good enough to win on the road, particularly in this Game 3 setting. We'll have to play better and more consistently."
While Spoelstra stressed that they need to start better, it is indisputable that the Heat have owned the second half of the two games in Miami in this series. When asked if that could get into the Nets' heads a little bit going into tonight, Spoelstra said, "No, no...They have very steady veteran players, they won't be susceptible to the swings in confidence."
Bosh said of Miami's second half dominance, "We can't hang our hat on that. We've gotta do a better job coming out of the gates. You know, our first half, we can do much better, especially the starting group, we need to come out and have more of an aggressive disposition on offense and on defense and not play with fire - this is the wrong team, especially on the road, we can't afford for them to just be up six or seven points, they're too good for that. We have to do a better job with our starts and let the second half take care of itself."
I asked Bosh if he was surprised that Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Deron Williams did not play at all in the fourth quarter of Game 1. Bosh said, "Yes and no, I was surprised that it didn't happen. You knew they were going to come strong for Game 2. Sometimes to win the war, you have to lose a battle. I understand that, and I'm sure that was kind of the philosophy they were going with at the time, so I didn't really pay much attention to it."
On if LeBron James would ever sit out the fourth quarter, Bosh simply said, "Probably not."