Erik Spoelstra gives depressing presser after Heat miss playoffs
Erik Spoelstra could not hide his extreme disappointment over the Miami Heat missing the playoffs during his post-game presser Wednesday night. That notion became plainly evident given how long it took the Heat head coach to actually start talking.
A devastated Spoelstra took to the podium and needed nearly 30 seconds to compose himself before addressing just how close the Heat came to making a remarkable turnaround this season.
Erik Spoelstra struggles to find the words as he reflects on the journey the 2016-17 @MiamiHeat made and the growth they showed. #HeatNation pic.twitter.com/ocKBbryg2I
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) April 13, 2017
“I don’t know if I ever felt this way about a team before,” Spoelstra said following a 110-102 over the Washington Wizards, via the Miami Herald. “I don’t know if I ever wanted something more for a team. When any one of us wanted to get in to team sports, it was to be around a team like this. We went through so much together in just a few months and really got to know each other.
“Through everything, we made each other better and it was such an honor to be around a group like this. It really was. I wish I had something for this team just to keep this thing going. I think the hardest thing for any of us to wrap our minds around is that we don’t have practice tomorrow at 12. It just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t feel like the basketball gods shined down on us.”
The Heat closed the season at 41-41, a record that seemed absolutely inconceivable a few months ago when the team was sitting at 11-30. No team in NBA history before the Heat has managed to reach .500 after being 12 or more games under that benchmark.
Despite the amazing turnaround, the Heat needed help to reach the postseason. The Chicago Bulls (41-41) beat the Brooklyn Nets by a score of 112-73 and grabbed the eighth and final postseason spot courtesy of owning a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Heat. The Indiana Pacers’ 104-86 victory over the Atlanta Hawks effectively put a nail in the coffin.
The Heat should be nothing but proud of their improbable resurgence this season. But coming so close and missing out really stung in the immediate aftermath.