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Erik Spoelstra: Miami Heat’s lack of rebounds not a big issue
As if he were imploring reporters to keep a secret, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra lifted one finger over his lips and lightly made the shushing sound.
No, the Heat isn’t overly concerned about its rebounding numbers, but that doesn’t mean Spoelstra wants everyone to know it.
After 38 games in the regular season, the Heat is dead last in the NBA in rebounds per game (38.84).
Spoelstra and Heat president Pat Riley have made steps throughout the season to improve defensive rebounding – first moving Udonis Haslem into the starting lineup and now adding veteran free agent Chris Andersen to the mix – but, considering the team is in first place in the East, that “dead last” denotation is clearly incongruous with what it actually takes for the Heat to win games.
For this team, it’s not all about rebounding.
“It is an important aspect,” Spoelstra said Tuesday, when Miami held its third practice session in four days. “[Rebounding] is an important aspect of our defense. We have to finish. It’s not the most important aspect of our game.”
The Heat is a small team. During the long, slogging NBA regular season, Miami (26-12) is never going to rebound day in and day out with the likes of the Indiana Pacers or Chicago Bulls.
BY JOSEPH GOODMAN