MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Heat players are getting plenty of rest before suiting up once again for round 2 of the NBA playoffs, thanks to a first-round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats. The Heat is the only team to sweep round-one in the postseason.
It was also Miami’s second first-round sweep in a row after doing so against the Milwaukee Bucks in last year’s playoffs.
But the team isn’t taking anything for granted and are moving into a heightened playoff state on the practice court.
With no opponent to lock in on, the Heat practiced Friday focused on one team — the Heat.
“We’re just working on what we do,” Heat forward Chris Bosh said Friday afternoon. “That’s the best thing we can do right now, work on our defense, spacing, offensive characteristics, working on our habits and everything and staying in shape. That’s what it’s about. We can’t worry about anybody because we don’t have an opponent right now. We’ll see what happens.”
The Heat next face the winner of the best-of-seven first-round series between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors.
Raptors have a 3-2 lead in the series so far.
The Heat’s next series could open Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena if the Nets-Raptors series is completed by Friday’s Game 6 or it’ll open Tuesday.
The tricky part for the Heat is making sure to manage their time off.
“You know we haven’t had much rest like this before, so our rhythm and timing may be off,” Chris Bosh said. “That is the challenge coach and everyone will have. We have been here before, we have learned some lessons from last year, and that is the best part of it. I think we will handle it better this time.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra likened Friday’s practice to one more akin to training camp, with plenty of contact, mouthguards in and knee-pads up because of all that hitting. Bosh said he didn’t mind, even adding that practice went longer than planned because of how competitive things were getting.
Clearly, an off day was no day off.
“This probably made us all feel a little bit more normal, having a full-padded, braced, mouthguarded practice,” said Spoelstra, whose team dealt with two breaks of about a week during last year’s playoff run. “Guys got after it.”
Spoelstra said there was no mention of things specific to planning for Toronto or Brooklyn during the practice — which LeBron James called a “Hunger Games” style session, with 10 minutes of warming up and then nothing but “straight contact” the rest of the way.
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