“If we’re the same team that we were last year, that won’t be good enough. Period. And fact,” Spoelstra said following Sunday’s practice at American Airlines Arena. “And that’s why we’ve spent so much time this year trying to develop habits to improve. And we don’t feel we’re the same team.”
While the Heat have added guard Ray Allen and center Chris Andersen since last season’s series, the Pacers have gotten decidedly improved play from forward Paul George and guard Lance Stephenson.
Spoelstra said even more might be needed against the rejuvenated Pacers.
“They’ve grown together,” Spoelstra said. “They’ve been now together, the core, for several years. They’ve been through playoff experiences together. They’ve added some good pieces that fit their culture. They’ve developed a philosophy they believe in. And we feel we’ve done the same thing. And hopefully we’re much better than we were the last time we played them.”