Erik Spoelstra Anticipates ‘Throwback’ Heat-Celtics ECF Finals


When the Eastern Conference Finals series between Miami and Boston begins on Thursday, Erik Spoelstra said he and his boss, The Godfather Pat Riley, expect to see a “throwback series” between the two conference titans.

“Pat’s [Riley] probably is going to enjoy this,” Spoelstra said on Monday. “This is like a throwback series. If both teams are really on top of their games, this should be a series where neither team is scoring 130 points. Both teams hang their hats on rock-solid team defense, and making multiple efforts, and being disciplined to schemes. So it will be a lot of plays and things in the margins. That’s what you expect. Really, we were the two best teams in the East most of the season, and it’s fitting that we’re moving into the conference finals.”

The ECF series will feature the two best teams in the conference, with the Heat saying they see a lot of similarities between themselves and the Celtics, especially on the defensive side of things. The main thing that helps Heat remain confident in themselves is that they found a way to win games in different ways throughout the year.

With different guys out of the lineup due to injury or COVID-19 being able to win a game no matter, the circumstance bodes well for a team looking to get back to the Finals for the first time since 2020.

Going into Tuesday’s Game 1, Spoelstra and Jimmy Butler echoed a similar sentiment of the Heat loving competition and looking forward to the challenge of playing Boston.

Both Spoelstra and Butler echoed a similar sentiment with Game 1 looming on Tuesday night.

“Our guys love competition and love being challenged,” Spoelstra said. “They love taking on big challenges. That’s what we’re facing. Boston has played as well as anyone in the entire league once they got to 2022. It’s not by accident. They’re playing very strong basketball. They do it on both ends.

“I say throwback; I really want to clarify. It’s not going to be like football. We don’t need the extra officiating, or we don’t need anyone thinking they need to clean it up. It’s not going to be like that. It’s just that you have two really committed defensive teams that should lend itself if both teams are playing at a high level; it shouldn’t be 150-point games.”

The post Erik Spoelstra Anticipates ‘Throwback’ Heat-Celtics ECF Finals appeared first on SLAM.



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