Eye of the Hurricane

March 5, 2010

The morning after beating the Lakers

Despite the Miami Heat’s biggest victory of the season coming last night against the NBA’s second-best team in the Los Angeles Lakers, only three members of the media were at practice, including me.

Here’s what some of the players and head coach Erik Spoelstra had to say following a very short practice Friday afternoon at AmericanAirlines Arena:

“I want us to be consistent,” center Jermaine O’Neal said. “As players we hope this is a springboard game. It’s best for us to take one game at a time and push up into the playoffs.”

O’Neal, who said that communication on the defensive end was the difference in last night’s game, hopes that the feeling of beating the Lakers will carry into the next few games.

“We’ll continue to take this good feeling we have into the next game,” he said. “We now know what puts us in a position to feel like this.”

Carlos Arroyo’s play has been a boost for the Heat, and as a result, has gotten him more action over the other two point guards – Mario Chalmers and Rafer Alston.

“He’s a floor general. Carlos has just taken an opportunity and is playing very, very well,” O’Neal said. “He can distribute the ball and plays mistake-free basketball.”

On the other side of production, Spoelstra addressed forward Michael Beasley’s and Chalmers’s limited playing time. He meets with the pair one hour before practices and games, especially because they’re the “young guys.”

In regards to forward Quentin Richardson’s season-high 25 points, Spoelstra said that Q-Rich brings more to the table than points.

“What he brings is the fight, the competitive spirit on defensive,” he said. “He’s a big-moment player on offense. He’s not afraid of pressure situations. He’s accepted that role as a true professional.”

Forward Udonis Haslem tried to explain the team’s inconsistency over the course of the season.

“We get frustrated because we’re a lot better than the way we perform some nights. We show resolve,” he said. “We can’t control what other teams do. We can control what we do.”

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