“They easily could have gone on. What that did was really catch our attention at how explosive Oklahoma City was,” Spoelstra said. “They turned it to a different gear and the whole series changed. San Antonio didn’t do a whole lot of things wrong, played some very good basketball. They just ran into a hotter team.”
This year’s Spurs have jumped out of the gate strong, and are 13-3 after beating Orlando on Wednesday night. San Antonio is the only team in the NBA with 13 wins.
“They’ve done a great job on the road and that dates back to last year,” Spoelstra said.
Playing the Spurs is most definitely a boost for a Miami team that hasn’t hosted many elite teams since Boston was in town for the season opener.
Miami, now 10-3, is 4-3 against playoff teams from last season.
“They are one of the best teams in the league every year, and there’s a reason for that,” said Chris Bosh, who will likely be assigned the task of taking on Duncan for much of Thursday’s game.
“It’s a measuring stick. You win the games you’re supposed to. Then it’s up against the juggernauts. It’s always a good time to establish yourself and see where you are at. Guys don’t forget later on in the postseason.”
This and that
• Spoelstra said injured forward Shane Battier (sprained knee) didn’t practice Wednesday and likely wouldn’t Thursday. Battier is also expected to miss Saturday’s game against Brooklyn.
“He’s day-to-day,” Spoelstra said.
• As part of its 25th season celebration, the Heat will honor a number of its past stars throughout the year. Former point guard Sherman Douglas will be the first player to be honored Thursday. Douglas, nicknamed “The General,” was a second-round pick in the Heat’s second draft in 1989 and was named to the NBA All-Rookie team after averaging 14.3 points and 7.6 assists in 1989-90. Douglas spent two full seasons in Miami before being traded to Boston in 1992.