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Spoelstra: The Heat have “not shown greatness yet”

Jan 10, 2011, 5:37 PM EDT

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The Miami Heat have been pretty good recently. They’re 30-9, they’ve lost one game since November 27th, they have two of the top three players in PER, they’re a top-three team in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and they are winning games by an average of 9.5 points a night. Oh, and they’re a few games away from a consecutive road wins record. That looks like greatness to me, but apparently Heat coach Erik Spoelstra disagrees. Here’s what Spoelstra had to say about his team during an appearance on The Ticket 790 with Jorge Sedano earlier today:

“I don’t think we all know exactly what [greatness] is. I do know what we say is greatness is consistency. We have proven that we can be great, we can be great on the defensive end of the floor, but we have not shown greatness yet. We do not do it on a possession or every single minute of the game mentality yet. We’re moving in that direction and I think our guys understand that this isn’t where we want to stop. To play really at the elite level, and we’re talking seven game series, we need to be more consistent with that and that’s what we’re striving for and working for every single day.”

There are certainly things the Heat can improve on. The team’s offense is getting more fluid by the game, but LeBron and Wade are still figuring out how to be effective without the ball when the other one is operating off the dribble. The team’s fourth and fifth best players are injured and trying to work his way back into the rotation after recovering from an injury. The team does settle for jumpers from time to time, and occasionally gives teams easy baskets before tightening the screws defensively and really locking in on that end.

And of course, LeBron and Bosh still haven’t won a single playoff game in a Heat jersey, and everyone knows this team’s goal isn’t regular-season success. Still, the Heat are the best team in basketball right now, they’re on an absolute rampage through the league, they’re seemingly getting better every game, and their coach says they’re still scratching the surface of what they’re capable of. Lord only knows what the Heat will look like when they’re playing at a high enough level to satisfy their coach.

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