MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The streak is over.
The Miami Heat lost for the first time in their last 14 games on Saturday to the Philadelphia 76ers, but there is no time to dwell.
The Heat are back in action on Monday night when they host cross-state rival Orlando.
Even though the win streak is over, there is a lot to be said for what this team has accomplished over the past several weeks.
“If you have a lot of good playmakers you find a way where everyone can complement each other, still be who you are and making the game easier for the next guy,” said head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Spoelstra’s formula for moving chess pieces turned Miami’s season around.
The Heat have gone from Draft Lottery contenders to a playoff push.
“The most important thing [coach Spoelstra] knows is how to put the right players in the right position, the right situation so we can strive,” said guard Goran Dragic. “I feel really comfortable with him and for me, he’s one of the best coaches in the league.
Miami is two games out of a playoff spot thanks to a young roster that loaded with players who were once in the D-League; 10 to be exact.
“Whatever talk about how many D-League guys we have on our roster, that also can suggest a lot of disrespect,” said Spoelstra.
“The guys in the D-League work harder than most guys that have been spoon-fed their whole career,” said Udonis Haslem. “You give me guys like that I know we have a chance to go out and win basketball games as opposed to a guy who wants everything given to him.”
The Heat have now won 13 of 14 and are playing with a chip on their shoulder, ready to make a late season run with 27 games to go.
“Now we know what it takes to win,” said Dragic. “I think that’s the most important thing with this team because we stuck together when it was the worst.”
“We’re not taking a step back to look at it,” Spoelstra said of the win streak. “I’ve really enjoyed seeing the grit and the toughness of this group and the perseverance.”