Dwyane Wade said Monday he believes this team will respond to winning a championship much better than the 2006 Heat team, which was swept by Chicago in the first round of the 2007 playoffs.
“It’s a different group,” Wade said. “That time, we had a lot of guys who played their whole career to win a championship, and once they did, it was their relief. And guys checked out of it a little bit. Guys came in going through the motions a little bit.
“We had an older team. This team will be fine. Our core is in the prime of their game. I don’t think we’ll have a problem being motivated.”
Chris Bosh said he has seen some championship teams “come back sluggish thinking they’re owed something. We want to hold each other accountable. The X will be big on our backs. They say it’s harder to defend than to win it.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he “will be the voice of reason in a handful of weeks to make sure we reel it back and the celebration doesn’t go too long.”
Spoelstra’s celebration has already ended, as he prepares for Thursday’s NBA Draft and the July 1 start of free agency. “I looked at the [draft/free agency] board and realized how far behind I am,” he said.
Mike Miller said it’s a “little more” than 50-50 that he will undergo back surgery but still hopes to “try to avoid it as much as possible.”
If he doesn’t have surgery, he said he will play next season. But if he does, he said he’s unsure whether he will retire or play in 2012-13. “If it can be fixed, I will play,” he said. “It will be hard to walk away, but I’ve got to make a good decision. I want to be able to play with my kids.”
• During Monday’s celebration, Wade joked that “the only thing [Spoelstra] used to be able to do was the Christmas videos when I first got here.” (Wade later said Spoelstra deserves more credit for this championship than he has received.)
“I’ve worn so many different hats over 17 years,” Spoelstra said. “Some of the players have known me as the workout guy [or]… the stat guy [or]…. the guy who made fun of everybody in the Christmas video. Some saw me as the video coordinator. I’ve learned so many things in 17 years working for Pat [ Riley] and Stan Van Gundy. The most important thing is managing personalities and getting them all on the same page.”
Spoelstra said for the 2006 Heat championship parade (when he was an assistant coach), “I had to jump on the back of somebody’s pickup truck.” This time, he sat at the front of the bus with his 5 1/2-year-old nephew.
“You want to be part of a team that matters,” Spoelstra said. “That’s the dream we’ve all been living for — the parade on Biscayne Boulevard. It’s surreal.”
• Spoelstra said when he was an assistant coach, Riley used to give him neckties before games. But before Game 6 in Boston, “he asked me for a tie. It was one of my worst ones. We won, he wore it again for Game 7 and continued to wear it each game. It came full circle.”
• Bosh expressed willingness to continue playing center and predicted “the whole outlook of the league is about to change. Usually, the Finals is the prototype for where basketball is going.
“Putting traditional guys in the next position over — putting Shane Battier at [power forward] — you will see that a lot. I’m sure I’ll be playing a lot of [center]. It’s cool because I can say I’m the starting center for the NBA champions. You look at me and you wouldn’t think that. The game is changing. It’s getting a lot faster.”
• Bosh said he will have last month’s abdominal injury re-examined before committing to the London Olympics but anticipates playing.