Erik Spoelstra On Heat Advancing to Eastern Semifinals: ‘We Clearly Had Some Adversity in this Game’
The Miami Heat eliminated the Atlanta Hawks in five games after a 97-94 victory to win the series 4-1. The Heat was without stars Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler, who suffered injuries in the last two games.
In the post-game conference, Coach Erik Spoelstra talked about how his team fought through the adversity of losing Lowry and Butler to close out this series. The Game 5 win was Spoelstra’s 89th career playoff win since becoming the head coach of Miami in 2008.
“This was just a really inspiring team win,” Spoelstra said. “We clearly had some adversity in this game not having Kyle or Jimmy, and our group doesn’t even blink. That wasn’t something we even had to address; we just pivot and out in the game plan. Defensively there were some incredibly inspiring plays all game long.”
Victor Oladipo led the team in scoring with 23 points shooting 8-of-16 from the floor. Bam Adebayo followed up with 20 points and 11 rebounds, snagging the game-winning steal to send the Hawks packing back to ATL.
Spoelstra boasted about Adebayo and Oladipo’s great performances to close the series out, especially in the fourth quarter.
“I thought Bam was just tremendous; that’s just winning basketball all the way around. Vic was really good for us, he was able to generate some looks for us in the paint, and I thought it was fitting for us to win this game off that last stop at the end.”
The Heat will face the winner of the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors series, where the Sixers currently have a 3-2 lead. Game 6 of that series will continue Thursday in Jurassic Park.