Erik Spoelstra has what he's looking for, just to his right, on the Miami Heat bench. He's just not sure that it's good to go. Coming off Sunday's 103-82 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the focus at Monday's practice was on the hustle, energy, effort plays the Heat failed to deliver in the opener of the Eastern Conference finals. It is the type of hustle that forwards Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller, the former University of Florida roommates, are known for. It also is the type of effort that has been in short supply this season, with Haslem only now making it back from November foot surgery and Miller practically negated as an offensive threat by a pair of bum thumbs. So Monday, as the Heat prepared to practice at the University Illinois Chicago, Spoelstra was asked if Haslem and Miller might provide answers to the rebounding questions presented in Sunday's loss. "I'll evaluate everything," the third-year head coach said. The answer was identical when first asked about Haslem and then about Miller. Instead, Spoelstra insisted the 45-33 rebounding deficit in the series opener, as well as the 31-8 deficit on second-chance points, had as much to do with the lineup mainstays LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as the supporting pieces. "The reality is a lot of the rebounds, second-chance effort plays were with our main guys on the court," he said, "and it's something that we can do much better." Yet Spoelstra insisted Haslem and Miller remain in his thinking. Spoelstra, in fact, huddled with Haslem alongside a gym partition just prior to Monday's closed practice. Haslem insists he is ready. To a degree.
Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller want to kick some glass
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | May 17