Erik Spoelstra stresses consistency, talks about Hassan Whiteside’s strong showing

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Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra stresses consistency and talks about Hassan Whiteside's strong showing after preseason game vs. Spurs.

INTERVIEWER: All in all, in the second half, even though it got away from you a little bit, you got another group in there, and even the threes-- some of the threes-- got an opportunity to push back a little bit. Your appraisal of that aspect of it?

- Yeah, that's what you're going to see in preseason. It's never ideal if you're a young player. You don't know when your number is going to be called. And these are great professional teaching moments, though, because you have to stay mentally engaged into the game.

You know, they were up 15 plus points, and we were able to dig back into it. I thought the guys did a great job, competing and staying with it. And then we had to go a little bit deeper into the bench, and that's not easy.

But I thought, in his short minutes, Jarnell played well. And that's what you want. You want to stay ready, and then regardless of when your minutes are, to make them productive, and he did that tonight.

- 23 turnovers-- although rotation is always going to be-- you know, have all hands on deck, is that too many, at any time, when the Heat are on the floor?

- Yeah, it is. But we'll clean that up. We will. I mean, there are probably six or seven passes that went through our hands. You know, to be fair, some of that might be fatigue. We haven't had a day off.

But I liked the actions that we were getting to. I liked the way the guys were moving the ball and playing with intention-- particularly in the first half. It was sharp enough. We'll just have to find a way to keep it more consistent.

- Big stat night for Hassan. But we've come to learn that that's not necessarily important. When you're assessing him, what did you like most about what he did provide?

- Those were meaningful stats. You could feel it. You could see it. He's in great shape. So he's able to sustain a high level of activity and play in multiple efforts.

And he was doing it on both ends of the court. You know, he was defending and protecting the rim for us, defending their bigs, one on one. And then the shot goes up-- he was cleaning it all up.

Actually, to the detriment of our perimeters-- started spectating. And so when he wasn't in the game, we weren't rebounding well, because our guys got in the habit of just watching him go up in a crowd.

But I think, even on the offensive end, he was active and doing his job-- setting great screens. He had a couple of illegal screens. That's fine. He's doing it with purpose and intention to get guys open. And he was a big time presence in the paint.

INTERVIEWER: Erik, I know it sounds weird, but are you sort of adjusting how to use Dwyane Wade in this sort of comeback, now, in how do you use him in the groups you get in with-- not to overuse him, not to have guys sort of turn to him for salvation?

- Yeah, I don't need to even overstate-- you know, Dwyane Wade. But there's a reason why, you know, we all wanted him back-- and why I was making a big push to get him back-- is there are a lot of really interesting versatile pieces that we have on this team.

And we have a lot of speed. We have a lot of youth. We have a lot of versatility. You need a maestro to be able to bring it all together, and that's what you see. It's so much more coherent when he's out there.

And he's using his brain and his mind to help the whole team. And you know, that's the genius of a Hall of Fame player.

INTERVIEWER: Duncan Robinson's pump fakes to 3-point attempt ratio-- where you want it or his overall play, today?

- Well, yeah. He started to let them go. He still had probably three or four more that he could have let go. And I get it, because you come in, you just want to fit in.

But you have to fit in in your role, and if he's not making defense's lean or overreact to that spacing that he can provide, then just as a ball mover, he's not bringing enough.

Eventually, he'll start to realize that not only does he have a coaching staff that is encouraging him to do that-- which, what else do you want in this league-- but his teammates want him to do that and fill that role.

Eventually, some of those won't be open, because of the scouting report. And then that just provides more space for other people. But very good showing-- you know, he's had a good week-- particularly the last three days, he's been a lot more aggressive.

But he could shelf a couple of shot fakes, and KO, as well. I really wanted KO to get six 3-point attempts off in this game, or at least five. And he would have had five, if he didn't shot fake for that travel.

INTERVIEWER: Erik, is this Hassan Whiteside just a continuation of what you guys have seen. Not only this week, but even in the summer?

- Or you could make a case that this is a continuation of what we saw at the beginning of last year or two years ago. This guy's gotten better every year in our program.

And this is just something that he has to deal with in terms of the narrative that's out there, and to be able to develop some mental resiliency to play through it, because so much of it is misinformed.

But I think that builds character. He's had a great summer, a great response to a lot of the narrative that's out there. And he's on a good track, right now-- just have to keep it going that way.