Erik Spoelstra on watching film from Heat’s loss to Lakers: ‘It was a horror show’

Los Angeles Lakers center Brook Lopez (11) drives up against Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Miami. The Lakers defeated the Heat 131-113. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI — Just hours after allowing 131 points in Thursday’s loss to the Lakers, the Heat met to practice and watch the game film Friday afternoon.

“It was a horror show watching it,” coach Erik Spoelstra said.

But somehow, Miami must move on with a critical game against Detroit set for Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena. The Heat are hanging on to the Eastern Conference’s eight and final playoff spot, with the ninth-place Pistons right behind them.

“Last night’s game is over. We can’t do anything about it now,” Dwyane Wade said. “‘We learned from it. Hopefully we make the adjustments, we come in tomorrow for shootaround and we try to get ourselves prepared against a team that we’re fighting with in the playoff race. Last night is over. Now our focus is on Detroit.”

While the Heat now have the Pistons on their minds, defense remains a point of emphasis after a historically bad night against the Lakers.

Los Angeles’ 131 points marked the most the Heat have allowed in regulation in a regular-season game since giving up 134 points to the Warriors on March 7, 2008. In franchise history, Miami is 1-23 in regular-season games it allows opponents to score 130 points or more.

“We got in there, got a sweat, drilled a couple of things from last night,” Spoelstra said of Friday’s practice. “We didn’t just want to let it go. That’s not our style. So even if was just 15, 20 minutes, to develop those habits of defending the way we’re capable of. We came in and got some work done and then we watched the film. We watched the horror show.

“It’s not easy to defend in this league and what we’re trying to do with our team is not easy, it’s not supposed to be easy. But we don’t want to make that a habit, of having those kind of defensive games. And seeing it on film was important, to see how far off we were and how much more we needed to bring, not only from effort, energy, disposition standpoint, but also from a focus-to-detail standpoint.”

Even after Thursday’s poor performance, the Heat still feature a top-10 defense. Miami entered Friday ranked 10th in defensive rating, allowing 104.4 points per 100 possessions.

But the defense that showed up against the Lakers was far from the standard the Heat have set this season. Miami posted a season-worst defensive rating of 133.1 on Thursday.

“You’re going through a lot of emotions, anger,” Heat All-Star point guard Goran Dragic said of watching the film from Thursday’s loss. “Then you’re asking yourself, ‘Is this even possible?’ when you see yourself in the video and all that is going on. Sometimes you don’t have it, but at the end of the day you need to look yourself in the eye and accept the consequences, you didn’t play well, try to correct those things so they don’t happen the next game.”

What’s Spoelstra like during these painful film sessions?

“He’s at his best,” Wade said. “That’s what coaches get paid for. It’s not easy when everything is going right. That’s when coaches feel alive. They’re at their best when it’s time to come in and teach. The thing about an NBA season is when you’ve got some younger guys you depend on as well as veteran guys, you always have to continue to teach if you’re trying to develop a team like we’re trying to do. He understands that.”

With just 20 games remaining in the Heat’s season, they must learn their lesson quickly. Especially with Detroit, the team right behind Miami in the standings, next on the schedule.

“Tomorrow is a really important game for us, basically it counts as two,” Dragic said. “So, what happened last night, it’s already over, so we just need to get ready for the next one.”

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