Erik Spoelstra made it clear, before the season started, that he would prefer his Heat players not use the word "repeat" to describe the mission for 2012-13. After all, this would be a new endeavor and adventure, one that would require Miami to remain wary of slippage as well as a slew of contenders to its crown.
Perhaps his team misunderstood him.
So far this season, Heat players have too often avoided another word that starts with "re-":
And that, above all, may be the thing that keeps Miami from repeating, or winning again, or whatever it is that they're trying to accomplish.
The Heat was bludgeoned on the boards again Tuesday, this time by Indiana, which converted 21 offensive rebounds into 23 second-chance points, stifling the Heat's fast break in the process.
Miami entered Wednesday's NBA play averaging the second-fewest rebounds per game in the league, ahead of only the Celtics, and tied for 23rd in rebound differential. This comes after tying for sixth in rebound differential last season.
Some nights, the Heat (the defending champions) have appeared overmatched on the glass. Sometimes, as against Denver and Minnesota and Orlando, they have overcome it. Recently, against East rivals Chicago and Indiana, they have not.
“At some point, enough will be enough for us and we’ll take care of that department,” Spoelstra said. “It’s got to stop, and at some point, we’ll get pushed to the brink where enough will be enough.”
Wednesday, Spoelstra pushed his team through an unexpected, physical workout.
"We always know that we have to own it and work at it to correct it," Spoelstra said. "And that’s what today was about, it wasn’t about talk, it wasn’t about stories, it was about working at it. Will it happen overnight? We’ll see."
What are five of the possible fixes?
(All quotes for this story were collected through the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post. All statistics were accurate as of Wednesday afternoon.)