Erik Spoelstra’s advice to Miami Heat players: ‘Make us have to play you’

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The Miami Heat are in a bit of a funk right now, as they have lost seven of their last 10 games.

Some players have seen their roles shift throughout the campaign, with injuries sometimes impacting rotations. While talking about Caleb Martin, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra offered a bit of information regarding what he tells the team.

“I tell our guys all the time, make us have to play you,” Spoelstra said. “Impact the game so much where we can’t take you out of the game and he’s living and breathing that right now.”

Martin has started to heat up recently since he started coming off the bench. The 27-year-old was moved to a reserve role after the acquisition of Kevin Love.

In eight games as a reserve, Martin is recording 11.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while knocking down 54.7 percent of his shots from the field and 47.8 percent of his deep shots for a true shooting percentage of 70.5 percent.

Spoelstra has been so content with his play that he even compared him to former Heat forward Shawn Marion recently.

The entirety of the 2022-23 season has been filled with ups and downs for the Heat. They suffered two ugly losses at home to the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks last week after securing a solid road win against Philly.

After those two losses, they proceeded to defeat the Atlanta Hawks at home in two straight games before falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Against the Cavs, the Heat’s 3-point shooting fell flat once again. The team only made eight of its 29 attempts. On the season, the Heat are shooting 33.6 percent from beyond the arc, which ranks 28th in the league.

Players like Max Strus and Kyle Lowry haven’t been as effective as they were last season, and that certainly hasn’t helped the Heat climb out of the hole they’ve put themselves in.

Despite all of that, it seems like the team will still end up making it to the play-in tournament at least. From there, anything can happen. With Jimmy Butler on the roster, the Heat have someone who consistently shows out when the lights are the brightest.

Miami will once again host the Cavs at Miami-Dade Arena on Friday night.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate with experience in writing, editing and video production. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.