MIAMI – Dwyane Wade thinks there’s no one better than the Miami Heat at dealing with the mental challenge of the playoffs. In his eyes, only one other team might compare.
He’s talking about the San Antonio Spurs.
When he looks at the Spurs, he said he sees qualities his own team has, including an ability to break down a loss and quickly correct things. It’s what Miami did before Game 2 of the finals and it’s what Wade expects the Spurs to do before the title series resumes with Game 3 in Miami tonight.
“You never put them away,” Wade said. “I think they always believe and it’s the same with us. You can’t, you won’t, put us away because we’re always going to believe. That’s why this is a perfect, different animal, kind of series. They’re the other team like us. They don’t lose much and when they do they come back and be better in the next game. So we’ve got to come out and do the same thing.”
That would explain why on Monday, instead of a day off, the Heat gathered to watch video of Game 2.
By winning in San Antonio to even the finals at 1-1, home-court advantage now belongs to the Heat. But no one in their locker room thinks it’s going to get easy now.
Miami has won a franchise-record 11 straight postseason games at home. The last team to win a playoff game in Miami was the Spurs in Game 1 of last season’s finals.
“We are in a tough situation because we’ve got to go to Miami and we’ve got to get one,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. “We don’t want to come back here 3-1 down. It’s very hard to overcome that. Definitely going to be a great challenge for the team to play in an arena like that and having to win.”
A challenge, sure, but it’s one Heat coach Erik Spoelstra knows the Spurs can handle.
“Coming back here there has to be an incredible sense of focus and urgency,” Spoelstra said Monday. “They’re a veteran, poised, championship-level team that’s been through a lot. The crowd won’t affect them much.”