Erik Spoelstra encouraged by progress injured players are making

Video Details

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says he is encouraged by how the injured players are progressing and discusses how Dwyane Wade's intelligence and insight are helping the team during the preseason.

- Today was encouraging because a lot-- everybody did something, and Derrick and Bam were able to do all the non-contact. J-Rich went through the entire practice with pads and he didn't get hit again, so that's a good sign. Who else?

REPORTER: [INAUDIBLE] Bam, there was--

- Yeah, Bam and DJ practiced.

REPORTER: Bam and DJ practiced.

- He did the non-contact part. It was encouraging.

REPORTER: Goran?

- Goran practiced. Yep, JJ practiced all the non-contact, so we're moving in the right direction.

REPORTER: So will you have a quote, unquote "dress rehearsal" at some point before Friday?

- You know what? It's too early to determine that right now. I'll figure out who we have available tomorrow, but probably just-- guys are getting back into the mix. That's a good sign.

REPORTER: And do you go through one of these games where it's not-- maybe it's not dress rehearsal per se in terms of who's on the court, but as far as a full scout, things of that nature. Or even like a version of a full scout. I mean, I know your--

- We're pretty close to that. The last game or so, just to get used to how we do things and how we prepare. Yeah, I would say the last couple of games we will. And not necessarily to prepare, it's just to get into the process of how we do things. Get used to it.

REPORTER: How's Dion been coming along?

- Good. Yeah, very good. I'm very encouraged by his progress.

REPORTER: I know Dwyane has been in this role before, but how valuable is his [INAUDIBLE].

- I mean, you just can't take it for granted having a Hall of Fame player and Hall of Fame mind making decisions for you team. The ball is in his hands, you just feel that he's seeing two or three plays ahead of what's going on and this team needs that. So there's a lot of things that he adds and helps, but his mind is probably, and his leadership is probably where he can help the most.

REPORTER: Is DeAndre Liggins the guy who's been [INAUDIBLE].

- It's cut from the same cloth, the guys that have made it with us. You know, there's been so much talk in this league about how much turnover, how much change that there is, and it is a business. But when you come across people that you like or you feel that they're of the same ilk, of the same fabric of our culture, we try to bring them back.

You see it on our staff and you see it with guys that have developed with us in the G-League. Or guys that have been on-- been with us and we traded, or they went somewhere else. We always leave that door open for them to be able to come back.

REPORTER: What do you want to see out of J-Rich [INAUDIBLE].

- I want to see what he did in practice today and how he was playing the last three days of training camp. That's the guy that is ready for a big year. He was very good today.

REPORTER: Spo, did you-- when Steve Clifford was going through his stuff last year [INAUDIBLE].

- Yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah.

REPORTER: What's the relationship like with you guys? I mean, [INAUDIBLE] would be happier if he was-- if he was getting a new job, if he was going to [INAUDIBLE].

- Yeah, I know, he and Delaney and the whole crew. Yeah, Steve and I go way back from when we used to scout together. No, it's not like we talked every day on the phone, but, you know, he's one of the guys I consider a friend-- a legit friend in this league.

I'm just happy that he's able to get a really good, promising opportunity in Orlando. Yes, you're right, I do wish he was out west because we have that kind of respect for how they do things, but you have-- I am happy for Pat Delaney, the whole crew. We feel like that they're part of the Miami Heat family. You know, six degrees of separation.