The Miami Heat dropped a tough game at home to the reconfigured San Antonio Spurs 106-99. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra — with his two championship rings — has enough perspective and job security to say what any good basketball fan thinks. Spoelstra said after the loss: “You absolutely respect and enjoy how San Antonio just finds a way to stay ahead of the curve, continue to reinvent and be incredibly efficient.”
The last time Miami played the Spurs, of course, Tim Duncan was in uniform for San Antonio. Now facing the Spurs, Spoelstra sees another guy with two rings, Pau Gasol, standing in Duncan’s spot. He sees LaMarcus Aldridge. (Well, Aldridge rested in this one, but he usually sees Aldridge.) He sees a Kawhi Leonard who has raised his level to where he could easily win the NBA MVP. It’s a far different team than the one Miami battled — both winning and losing — in the NBA Finals just a few years back. But in many important ways it’s the same team. A lot of NBA coaches are forced to respect the Spurs’ resilience and longevity as a winner. Spoelstra is one of those coaches blessed with enough perspective to actually enjoy the Spurs.