Erik Spoelstra wouldn't go there. "No," he said when asked about the Miami Heat playing seven of their next eight at home. "Stop," he insisted, when pressed on finally being positioned for a step forward in the standings. "No," he reiterated when the question was rephrased. "We can't," the 10th-year coach stressed. "This group is incapable of looking ahead. We haven't proven that we can handle that." Such has been the story of this uneven ride to 16-15, with a winning road record, losing home record and inability to move more than one game above .500 at any point this season. "So the only thing we're going to focus on is Dallas," he said, with Friday's game against the Mavericks at AmericanAirlines Arena opening a four-game homestand. The reality for Spoelstra and his team is if not now, then perhaps possibly never this season when it comes to any type of meaningful surge. Not only are the next four at home, but they will be followed by a road game against the Orlando Magic and then three more games at home. The Heat will not again leave Florida until a Jan. 9 road game against the Toronto Raptors. "It's huge," said center Kelly Olynyk, who is coming off his career-high 32-point performance in Wednesday's victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden, a game that ended a run of 17 of 23 on the road. "If we can also get healthy that's also huge. But just to spend an extended stretch at home, get our minds, bodies back in check and go out there and show our fans what we're made of, kind of, just get on a little run and work on protecting home court and playing some great basketball right now would be great."
Favorable schedule puts Miami Heat in position to seize the moment
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Dec 21