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September 15, 2020

Erik Spoelstra

Miami Heat

Game 1: Postgame

Miami Heat 117, Boston Celtics 114 - OT

Q. We all have watched Bam's evolution since you got him and especially on that end of the floor, but to have the confidence and go up and make that play at that moment, not worried about a call, not worried about anything else, just I'm going to go block another elite player at the rim, what does that say about who he is and what he's become?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: Well, he had another one of those, right, in the last series, and it was late. It was a blown play and he was the only guy back there for his sixth foul and he's going to go, you know, and that's -- yeah, so those are habits and instincts that he's willing to put himself out there.

That can be a poster dunk and a lot of people won't be willing or aren't willing to make that play and put themselves out there. Jayson Tatum, get into the launching pad, and he just made a big-time save for us. I mean, Tatum did have an angle, and it looked like he had an open lane to the rim and sometimes when you have, you know, great competition like this, you just have to make plays that you can't even really explain, and that was Bam tonight. He wasn't in like a great offensive rhythm.

They are so good defensively but he just found a way just to continue to stay with it and put his fingerprints on this game somehow, some way.

Q. Just one win obviously but you got down big in the first and bigger in the fourth, and not big on superlatives anyway but are you running out of ways to describe how this team has a way to find a way out?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: Let's be real about it. We got down because they were playing great. This is a very good team we're playing against. It's not as if it was just about us. I would love to say that, oh, yeah, we were just kind of going through the motions. We weren't. We weren't. They were putting it to us. They are a very good defensive team and you have be so detailed and purposeful every single possession against them, otherwise they can really get you to the end of the clock.

But we did have some great there, down 12, just to continue to stay with it and make some big plays down the stretch.

Q. Jimmy Butler at closing time again, just attacking the basket, getting the basket, getting the foul at the end.

ERIK SPOELSTRA: I think everybody was on the same page about that. They had taken us out of so many different things and we are going to have to really get to study tomorrow to figure out how we can get our offense functioning a little bit better against a really good defense, but that's what also great players can do, manufacture something out of nothing, against really good defenses, and he was able to do that.

Q. Now that's a 30-year-old in Jimmy, yet your 20-year-old in Tyler Herro, what he did in the moment of truth and the way he filled that box score up with 12 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists; is he old beyond his years now?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: Well, he's played now for 12 months. Gone through two training camps. He's been in a lot of these big moments, and right now at this point, we need a lot of the skill set that he brings off the dribble, behind the three-point line. His passing, again, against a really good, well-drilled, well-disciplined defense, you need some plays that are unscripted, and Tyler is pretty good in those situations.

Q. When the offense was bogged down in the first quarter, Goran took over in the second quarter. How important was that stretch for you guys to get back on track?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: It was really important because we couldn't get anything going and that's a big-time credit to their defense. They got us out of our normal rhythm. It wasn't about us. That's just what they do, and Goran was able to shake free a few times and put some points on the board. That kind of just gave us a little bit more confidence in the second quarter.

Q. Given the time, the score and the defender, can you talk about what the difficulty was in converting that basket at the end for Jimmy Butler?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: That sounds really dramatic the way you said it.

Look, we did what they did. You just put the ball in your best players’ hands and they have got to make a play, make or miss. The most important thing about that is having guys that are willing to put themselves out there. Both guys were, by the way. We're just fortunate that Jimmy was able to get his down and in.

Q. What is it about Jimmy that allows him to succeed again and again in moments like that that so many people are afraid of?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: I don't know. That's just his makeup. The moment's not too big for him. And he's willing to -- he's vulnerable enough to put himself out there and that's why we have him.

Q. You've played so well in the playoffs here but especially late in games, how would you describe the confidence level that the group has both offensively and defensively in being able to find ways to close and get these wins?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: Yeah, that's what the playoffs are about. Each game, each series, there's so many different things that are going on and you have to find different ways to impact winning. We have a lot of guys that understand that concept. It doesn't guarantee anything. We're facing a very good team, you know, in Boston. So we have to get to work tomorrow and figure out how we can, you know, continue to try and take our game to another level.

Q. A lot of this bubble has been about the balance. Obviously huge win but outside of the bubble, we have the Breonna Taylor information coming out of Louisville; that the city is paying her family 12 million, or settling, and also her family is still seeking justice. How do you react to something like that and what do you want to see in terms of police reform in this country?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: Yes, obviously that's very complex. We just found out about it before the game. Twelve million is not going to bring back Breonna Taylor into this world. You can throw out any kind of truckload of money, but I think what everybody wants to see is justice and those police officers held accountable.

That is what is so outraging to everybody right now. That's disappointing that, you know, that it's about money and that it could be settled from there.

Q. You mentioned in terms of Tyler and his confidence but what is it like to see it be consistent in big moments and when you look at the box score, he's only 2-of-5 from the three-point line but those two big threes are valuable in the game?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: Well, there's no turning back now. We need him. So we talked enough about how much he's grown and how he's earned it during the course of the year. He had a lot of ups and downs during the year, but we need his skill set, particularly against a good defense like we're facing.

Q. How important is it for you that you won the first game and set the tone of the series?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: Yeah, I don't think you can set the tone in a long series. You just have to get to work the next day. I can't say it enough. Boston is very good. They are where they are for a reason. They present a lot of different challenges. So we just have to get to work tomorrow, stay humble. You know, obviously it's much better to get the win and go work on your teaching points from there, but we understand how we can't get too carried away with just one win.

Q. What have you seen from Goran in the playoffs, probably your second-best player behind Jimmy?

ERIK SPOELSTRA: He's one of our most veteran, experienced winners, and I've said this for a long time about Goran. I just don't think a lot of the general -- a lot of the general fans out there don't realize what a competitor he is and how he has been his entire career, and I'm talking about in the States but also overseas, winning the Championship two summers ago. You need guys that know what it's like, how difficult it is, and particularly when we have young players that you're relying on, you need veteran, experienced winners that can settle you, and that's who Goran is.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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