The Miami Heat now have less than 72 hours to prepare for the Los Angeles Lakers when they 2020 NBA Finals begin on Wednesday (US time).
The Heat could have had enjoyed more time to rest if they had finished the job in Game 5, but as it is they'll relish their 6-game victory over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.
Not for too long, though.
“I tell you, that it’s going to be brutalizing for our video staff,” Spoelstra said.
“We know how difficult it is to get to this point, but our staff will prepare, and we know we didn't come this far just to celebrate this. Nobody has to get that twisted.”
Spoelstra himself said he would kick it back a bit at least Wednesday night, before he and his squad train their full focus on LeBron James and the Lakers, who advanced a day earlier.
“I’m going to have a few beers tonight, glass of wine, call my wife, definitely face time with her, and talk to the godfather [Pat Riley] at some point,” he said.
Nobody expected the No. 5 seed Miami Heat to go this far.
They swept Philadelphia in the first round, upset Giannis Antetokounmpo and Milwaukee in the East semis, before outplaying Boston.
The Heat and the Lakers will have stayed the longest inside the Disney bubble since the truncated season resumed in mid-July.
For Spoelstra, their accomplished amid all these challenges combined deserved to be celebrated.
“We just understand that this doesn’t . . . This is hard to do. It’s hard to do,” he said.
“I want our guys to at least acknowledge and be able to take a few hours just to enjoy it.
“I’m not questioning whether our guys will get to work and dial in and we'll have a very healthy respect for our next opponent.”
That would James and co., who have steamrolled their way through the tough West, where they finished with a 12-3 record, similar to the Heat's in the East.
“We’ve all been watching in the bubble. You’re watching all the games. At least I watched maybe the first half, but we know who we are facing,” Spoelstra said.