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The Miami Heat and Erik Spoelstra face the media

The Miami Heat took part in what could very well be the last practice of the season on the eve of Game 4 in their first round series against the Boston Celtics but the overall message laid out by their coach Erik Spoelstra is that they've faced adversity before and have always managed to bounce back. History dictates that no NBA team has bounced back from a 0-3 hole to advance in seven game series but a healthy Wade for tomorrow's game will at least give the Heat a fighting chance to stay alive for at least one more game. Spoelstra faced the firing squad and sounded sincere when claiming it was "on him" concerning the Heat defense on Pierce's game winning shot and insisted that the Heat would not go down without a fight.
Certainly last night is a tough loss to swallow. It is and those are natural emotions. Frustration, anger…I went through the gamut of emotions last night. Even for a few minutes I felt sorry for myself and for ourselves. At some point this morning I got it together and got back into my routine and that’s grinding through film and coming up with a game plan for tomorrow. And this was the message to the team. This is not about making history. It’s not about winning four straight. It’s not about doing something no one else has done in this league. We can reveal ourselves in the next 24 hours. That’s what we can control. Prepare for tomorrow and not let all the circumstances cloud our emotions, or our focus and thinking. Anything but to focus on getting that win tomorrow. Our strength this year is to bounce back from adversity and stay in the moment. And the moment right now is to stay together, not feel sorry for ourselves, not to run and hide, not to think about vacation. There’s always a hard path. The hard path is to get back to work and get back to grinding and preparing to win a game tomorrow without everything affect our focus. There are so many storylines and things that can distract us from tomorrow’s game. I’m sure everybody is obviously writing us off for tomorrow. But all those storylines are just distractions. That’s the challenge for the next 24 hours: can we just focus on the task at hand?
Udonis Haslem is hoping for a breakthrough game for the Heat against the Celtics while also pondering what might be coming soon for the franchise.
You got to assume that eventually we’re going to win one game. Out of the last 6 games we’ve played them we’ve had leads in the fourth quarter of 5 of those games. For some reason we haven’t been able to pull a victory out. We just got to feel that if we keep chipping and keep working it that eventually we’re going to win one. For me, I’m used to be in situations where the odds aren’t in my favor. So it really doesn’t bother me much. As a team I don’t think we really focus on that. What’s to be is going to be. There’s nothing we can do about it. Who’s to say that if we won this series and moved on that it still wouldn’t be the last time that we all played together. So that’s something we can’t control regardless of whether we win this series or not. We can control how we go out and perform in the next game.
Michael Beasley acknowledged the Celtic's superiority so far this series.
You can’t stop trying. They’re a great veteran team and they understand how to play the game. That doesn’t mean we did anything wrong or we didn’t play as hard as we could. You got to keep trying and keep knocking on the door.
Spoelstra also touched on Dwyane Wade's status for Game 4.
Yeah, it’s still a little sore. But his attitude is that you’re really going to have to knock him out for him to miss tomorrow. We’ll have to continue to evaluate him. Right now it’s just a cramp from dehydration. Like I said he lost a lot of weight last night. He really spent a tremendous amount of energy and lost a lot of sweat and it finally took its toll in the end.
He was also asked about Jermaine O'Neal's importance to the Heat this year...
He is a big part of our success this year. You can’t just go away from that. All the criticism he’s been taking right now. It really isn’t fair. He doesn’t talk about it but he is hobbled. He’s playing on a sprained ankle. There are other knick-knack injuries but the ankle is really bothering him the most. It’s tough at this point because you’re trying to get into rhythm and trying to get up to speed at the playoff pace. But we need him. We need that presence. So no, I’m not going away from him. We have faith in him. He really wants to do well to help the team win. It’s a matter of time. It’s a lot of meaningful playoff experience. I still think that tomorrow will be a better day for him.