Even though the Miami Heat secured their second NBA title in franchise history a few months ago; coach Erik Spoelstra doesn't want his players to get complacent.
Having been a part of the 2006/07 Heat team that struggled after winning an NBA title the previous year, Spoelstra understands that things will be a lot more difficult for his players during the 2012/13 season, and they'll need to play a lot harder if they want to achieve the same results.
"If we learned one thing from the 2006 title, it was that you need to continue to reinvent yourself and improve as a basketball team," Spoelstra told reporters during a recent media session. "That year we brought the exact the same team back, we thought it would be the same path and same journey. It never is. … It's always going to be different. And we ended up losing the first round and we were swept in four games. Another year later, we only won 15 games and we were the worst team in basketball. That's how fragile this game can be."
Spoelstra definitely makes some valid points, considering the fact most championship teams in the NBA don't repeat the following year.
The Heat's players have had targets on their backs ever since LeBron James took his services to South Beach, and things won't get any easier now that they've added a championship banner.
Fortunately for them, Pat Riley and Mickey Arison have been very active during the offseason, bolstering their lineup by adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. With their improved firepower, the Heat have a good shot at securing back-to-back NBA titles for the first time in franchise history, as long as they stay focused throughout the season.
They'll get some stiff opposition from other powerhouses like the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs, but I expect the Heat to dominate the NBA for years to come.
Ira Winderman, "Spoelstra: Key to defending title is to 'reinvent yourself'"
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