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Miami failing to show toughness on road
LOS ANGELES – Midway through his nightly routine of talking about playing to an identity, collective spirit and moving on to the next game, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had a slight break of his usual decorum.
“Look,” Spoelstra said with the first real hint of frustration during this young season, “the decisions I’ve had to make this year on the road are not the decisions I want to make. I’m looking at the scoreboard and saying, ‘OK, are we still within striking range or should I get guys out?’ These are not decisions that the head coach is drooling about making.”
The Heat lost another lopsided road game Wednesday, with the 107-100 final score to the Los Angeles Clippers proving to be a little misleading. It was a 20-point game with five minutes left.
Three times in five road games now, Spoelstra has found himself clearing the bench. And it’s starting to bother him a little.
Losing to the Clippers in Staples Center is not a high crime. The Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs, who are a combined 13-2 and own the two best records in the Western Conference thus far, both happened to lose on the red-and-blue court in L.A., too.
The Clippers and their deepened bench are without a doubt a high-quality home team right now.
Not that this is a stunner from the Heat’s perspective. They almost always lose to the Clippers here; in the Dwyane Wade era, they’ve dropped eight of their 10 games against the Clips on the road and all three games since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined up.
By Brian Windhorst