Heat owner Micky Arison stirred up a little Twitter drama Sunday morning when he implied that some Heat fans have become spoiled with the team’s success.
“When did being 1st in the East at the beginning of January become not good enough for some @MiamiHEAT fans?” Arison posted to his Twitter account, @MickyArison.
Entering Sunday night’s game against the Wizards, the Heat had the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference (.710) but was 2-3 in its past five games. Recently, the team’s nonchalant approach to rebounding has alarmed some fans. The Heat is second to last in the NBA in rebounding per game (38.71).
Arison declined an interview before Sunday’s game but did say through a team spokesman that he wants fans “just to chill and enjoy the ride. We’re not going to win every game.”
Arison is inundated with angry messages on Twitter after every loss. He’s human. The messages sting.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wouldn’t speak for Arison during his pregame news conference but did try to put the recent downturn in wins and rebounding into perspective.
“You have to deal with a lot of ups and downs during the course of an 82-game regular season,” Spoelstra said. “It can be a grind. You play it for a reason. You play it to get better and to prepare yourself for when it really matters.”
In 2011-2012, the Heat had an identical record to this season through the first 31 games of the season (22-9).
“We’re trying to get better for the postseason, when it counts,” Spoelstra said.
LeBron James has played with a sore knee during the past week. If the soreness persists, Spoelstra indicated James might take some time off. The Heat begins a six-game road trip Tuesday against the Indianapolis Pacers.
“We haven’t had practice days this week, so he has been feeling a little better between games,” Spoelstra said. “If it gets to a point where it gets worse, then we’ll reevaluate.”
Wizards starting point guard Garrett Temple was one of the final players cut from the Heat’s preseason training camp.
The Heat’s roster didn’t allow Spoelstra to keep the 6-6 Temple, but the coach is happy the player has found a place in the league.
“We were a big fan of [Temple],” Spoelstra said. “That was a very tough cut. He should’ve been in this league already. He is unique because of his size and length. It is great to see him get an opportunity with these guys.
“You root for guys like him.”
Temple had a career-high 11 assists against the Nets on Friday. Temple is the Wizards’ fifth starting point guard this season.