It's not that Erik Spoelstra's squad was fazed by basketbal's grandest stage. In fact, the Heat might be more comfortable playing championship basketball than any other kind. This season's title pursuit marks Miami's third consecutive venture into the NBA Finals.
The Heat's need for rest isn't anymore complicated than it sounds.
Miami battled through a tough seven-game series with the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade admitted they were still feeling the physical effects of that series in Thursday night's loss, and the numbers seemed to back up that sentiment. After carrying a three-point advantage into the fourth quarter, the Heat looked gassed as San Antonio swiped home-court advantage with a 23-16 edge in the period.
So more than any in-game adjustments, the Heat just needed to relax, to let their hair down. Literally, apparently.
Chris Andersen, Miami's spark plug that has captured the heart of Heat nation for his colorful appearance and ludicrous playoff shooting percentage (80.4), showed up for Friday's practice session sans his trademark mohawk.
Ever wondered what Birdman looked like without spikes? Well, now you have your answer:
Pure speculation on my part here, but something tells me we won't be seeing a dishevelled Andersen when this series packs back up on Sunday night.