BOSTON — With less than three weeks remaining in the regular season, the Heat’s playoff chances hang in the balance.
But the importance of the next few weeks is not why Miami held a morning shootaround session before a 6 p.m. game for the first time this season and the first time in a long time on Sunday.
Instead, it was out of convenience.
The Heat’s team hotel in Boston included a gym with a basketball court. Miami usually holds a walkthrough before early Sunday games in its team hotel’s ballroom, but having a basketball court available at the hotel changed things.
Usually full shootarounds are not held before a game that tips off earlier than 7 p.m. because of the quick turnaround between shootaround and the contest.
“We normally do this in a ballroom, but we happened to have this,” coach Erik Spoelstra said after Sunday morning’s shootaround session.
Holding a “walkthrough” on a basketball court meant the media was invited for interviews. When the Heat hold a walkthrough in a ballroom, media is not invited.
But according to NBA rule, when a ball touches the court and the coaching staff is present, media availability is required.
Whether it was really just out of convenience or not, adding shootaround to the Sunday schedule allowed the Heat to change a routine that hasn’t produced positive results. Miami was 0-6 on Sunday games entering its contest against Boston, with five of those games starting at 6 p.m. and the other starting at 3:30 p.m.