Miami Heat Questioning Defensive Effort

Source: Joseph Goodman, Miami Herald


LeBron James was angry and aggravated after Monday’s practice, which included tough words by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. James said there was no excuse for the Heat’s 4-3 record and did not soften his message for reporters when asked to pinpoint the team’s shortcomings.

“We’re playing like [expletive] defensively right now,” said James, who returned to his four-letter description of the Heat’s defense one more time for emphasis.

The Heat’s surprising 111-110 loss to the Celtics on Saturday offered the latest example. Boston’s young players enjoyed wide-open lanes to the basket and easily earned open jumpers against the Heat’s sluggish defenders.

“You have to constantly stay on top of it regardless of who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, what you’re doing and we have to work at it,” Spoelstra said of the Heat’s defensive effort. “We’re not playing to our capability, so you have to stay on top of it.”