Spoelstra: Heat thrive on pressure


Spoelstra: Heat thrive on pressure

Worried about Game 7?

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra believes his team will thrive on it.

"I don't think this group gets too high, they don't get too low, too jittery or anything. If anything, the big lights, the moments like last night, the moments like tomorrow are moments that these guys froth at the mouth for, he said during media availability on Friday. They clamor for those more than the less than normal moments.

The winner of the Eastern Conference Finals (tied 3-3) will be determined on Saturday night as the Heat and Boston Celtics battle it out in Miami.

Spoelstra is confident the Heat will remain focused amid the hype of Game 7. He anticipates the Celtics will make adjustments, especially after LeBron James scored 45 points in Game 6, and his players will have to react accordingly on the court.

He also expects both teams to come out playing desperation basketball. After 48 minutes, one team will advance to the NBA Finals while the other will be sent packing.

I think both teams will come out with the appropriate levels of urgency, Spoelstra said. That's the beauty of a Game 7. We fought and earned the right to have this in our home court. We don't take that for granted and we don't assume that will take care of anything. We're going to have to play, compete at the same urgency level we played at last night, but we'll also have to play well and probably have to beat them when they're at their best. And that's the way it should be.

Bradley, Green and Jackson to miss Celtics' game Tuesday against Wizards

Bradley, Green and Jackson to miss Celtics' game Tuesday against Wizards

WALTHAM -- The team flight to Washington for tomorrow night's game against the Wizards will be a little lighter than the Celtics would like. 
Boston continues to be cautious with Avery Bradley and his right Achilles strain injury. Coach Brad Stevens confirmed that the 6-foot-2 guard won't travel and will sit out for the seventh time in the last eight games. 

Stevens added he didn't anticipate Bradley returning to the court anytime this week, which means he's likely not to return until next week's game against Detroit on Jan. 30. 
Bradley won’t be the only Celtic not making the trip for health-related reasons. Gerald Green and Demetrius Jackson are both not traveling due to sickness. 
However, the Celtics did get a bit of good news on the health front. Jonas Jerebko and Tyler Zeller, both having missed games with sickness, will take the trip to D.C. with the rest of their teammates.

NBA officiating: Smart foul that cost C's potential win was wrong call

NBA officiating: Smart foul that cost C's potential win was wrong call

Were it not for a Marcus Smart personal foul with under 12 seconds to play, the Celtics might have won Saturday’s game against the Trail Blazers in regulation. Instead, they lost in overtime, but it turns out they should have at least had a shot at the regulation win. 

The game's Last Two Minute Report released by NBA officiating, which assesses all calls made in the final two minutes of play, labels the Smart foul “IC,” or “incorrect call.”

Smart was called for a personal foul on a play in which he stole the ball from Damian Lillard under the net and scored. Had the foul not been called, Boston would have held a 112-111 lead with 10.8 seconds remaining. 

The report states the following: The replay shown on the DF BCAST shows Smart (BOS) makes clean contact with the ball.

Portland went on to outscore Boston, 14-10, in overtime to earn a 127-123 win at TD Garden.