by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

When things in Miami started off this season in what some thought was disastrous fashion (with the Heat struggling to stay above .500), head coach Erik Spoelstra’s job seemed to be at risk.

Many believed — thanks to a few telling moments, both on and off the court — that Spoelstra and LeBron James could not co-exist.

Of course the Heat eventually got their act together, and as the newly-assembled super team prepares for its first Playoff run together, Spoelstra and James say that their relationship has never been better.

Fox Sports takes a look:

“I think the last few weeks it’s been a lot more comfortable,” Spoelstra said. “We’ve been communicating a lot more.”

“It’s definitely a process, and I think me and Coach Spo are learning each other as we speak,” LeBron said. “It’s not always going to be a bed of roses. We know that. There’s going to be times when Spo don’t like me and I don’t like Spo. That’s just how it is. But we’ve got to have each other’s back no matter what’s going on.” LeBron said the part about not always liking each other good-naturedly, and with a knowing smile, and therein lies the change: The respect is now real.

“Spo and my relationship is still growing, still growing, and we thrive on the pressure and we thrive on the hatred that’s been directed at our team,” [James] said … “I know there’s a lot of pressure on all of us, including coach Spo, but at the end of the day we’re all in it together,” LeBron said.

The postseason is where relationships and personal bonds are truly tested, something LeBron James and Erik Spoelstra are well aware of.

Over the next two months or so, Miami’s superstar forward and his once-embattled coach will have plenty of opportunities to prove just how far their partnership has come, and more importantly, what the future may hold.