NBA Finals, Miami, Spoelstra Motivator: “My Players Are Wild Agonists”

NBA Finals, Miami, Spoelstra Motivator: “My Players Are Wild Agonists”

Denver is 3-1 ahead in the final, but the heat coach believes in the turning point: “Neither the fans nor history win games, but the players on the floor.” And the past year 2016 makes Miami dream…

“It will not be the public that decides the game. It won’t be the narrative that already has us beaten, and not even its predecessors. It will be what will happen on the pitch, between the lines of play, between my team and the opposing team.” Erik Spoelstra doesn’t give up, he doesn’t even think about it. Challenge his heat specialists with surprise performances in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. They’ve already knocked out the first seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the East and the Boston Celtics by winning Game 7 at the Garden after losing three straight games, but now the Finals await Impossible MissionTo paraphrase Tom Cruise, bounce back from a 3-1 draw with the Nuggets and start by winning in Denver tonight. Spoelstra, the Miami coach, believes so. “My players are wild agonists.” And he’s ready to unleash them.


It’s not just the words that impress, but also the determined tone with which he pronounces them. Looks like Al Pacino Every damn Sunday, as an inspirational football coach who gives speeches to his boys before the game. Spoelstra is an excellent motivator, at least as much as he is a fabulous strategist and tactician. To win Game 5 in the Ball Arena, he must convince his players that they are better than they are. Because the comparison has so far seemed unequal. Nikola Jokic was more dominant than Jimmy Butler in the confrontation between the men of the franchise, the pack leaders. Jamal Murray mastered the indirect confrontation with Bam Adebayo between the ‘second strikers’ of the respective teams. And the supporting cast in Denver were significantly better than those in Miami. The various Aaron Gordon, Bruce Brown and Christian Braun took turns providing key support to their lead filmmaking duo. And all the teammates were also defending Jokic and Murray, protecting them in their own half. Miami’s wondrous wingmen, who were sensational beyond measure in that extraordinary playoff run, have instead come back to earth in the Finals. Max Strus was abysmal, Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin mediocre, Cody Zeller beyond compare. And Coach Malone wasn’t overwhelmed by the awkward confrontation between the frontrunners, as was the case with Budenholzer and Mazzulla, who had all sorts of combinations. In short, it’s true that the Heat already won Game 2 in Denver, breaking the Nuggets’ home playoff unbeaten streak, but it’s also true that, to reiterate, they put up a muted performance by Joker and Co. would need to increase the odds Compared to the two games in Florida, the level is very high. Finish as little for the opponents.


They say Denver is the big favorite. But this story leaves a bright spot in Miami. Comebacks from a 1-3 deficit in a best-of-7 playoff series have come only 13 in history. But it happened once in the Finals. Not even who knows how long ago, back in 2016, LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers turned the tide against the Golden State Warriors by winning an exciting Game 7 in Oakland. But Steph Curry had a bruised ankle, Dray Green had been disqualified for another low hit, the Cavs had James and, most importantly, the Dubs were overbearing. Unforgivable. Denver is unlikely to commit this mortal sin. Because that historic core, the one with Jokic and Murray on the floor and Malone on the bench, has made two playoff comebacks like this. In fact, he bounced back and won first 3-1 against the Utah Jazz in 2020, first round and then the Los Angeles Clippers the following. I mean, Denver knows how to do it. And that he can’t afford to underestimate Spoelstra, who knows better than hell when it comes to turning desperate situations on paper…

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