Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat managed to overcome a tough Game 1 loss to the Denver Nuggets (93-104) and even the NBA Finals series on Sunday (1-1).
The Heat had to erase double-digit deficits twice in the contest and outscored the Nuggets 36-25 in the fourth to win the game and “steal” the home-court advantage. This is the fourth straight series that the Heat have won one of the first two games on the road and Spoelstra explained his team’s mental toughness and ability to defy the odds.
“Well, we’ve talked about it in all the previous three series, so I feel like I’m being redundant. We faced a lot of adversity during the season. We handled it the right way where you are not making excuses about it, the injuries, the changes lineups. Because of all that adversity and the 57 close games that happened, due to a lot of that, it hardened us.
“It steeled us and we developed some grit, which is what we all want. We want to be able to have that privilege of having adversity and being able to overcome it. You gain strength
from that. But this is a very tough opponent. They have our full respect, for sure,” Erik Spoelstra said after Game 2.
En route to the NBA Finals, Erik Spoelstra and the Heat eliminated three teams who finished higher than them in the East standings and became just the second No.8 seed in league history to reach the Finals.
The series with the Heat now shifts to Miami for Games 3 and 4 this week, while Game 5 takes place in Denver on Monday, June 12.