Heat notebook

Miami Heat assistant coach affected by Boston blast

 
 
Miami Heat's LeBron James shoots during warmups before an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cleveland.
Miami Heat's LeBron James shoots during warmups before an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cleveland.
Mark Duncan / AP

jgoodman@miamiherald.com

Heat assistant coach Dan Craig received a text message from his twin sister Kristen Craig letting him know that she was OK after the bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday.

Kristen Craig was on Mile 21 of the race when the explosions at the finish line occurred.

“She’s OK, everybody is OK,” said Dan Craig, who is from Boston. “She was rattled, but she’s OK.”

Dan Craig also had a brother working downtown at the time of the explosion.

This is Craig’s 10th season with the Heat and first as an assistant coach and video coordinator. Previously, he served as the team’s video coordinator and player development coach.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called the bombing “horrifying.”

Practice shots

Heat forward LeBron James practiced his shooting alongside Chris Bosh before the game. Both stars sat out of the game, which was the Heat’s second to last of the regular season.

A total of six players rested against the Cavaliers, including starter Mario Chalmers, who also practiced at Quicken Loans Arena before the game.

Spoelstra said Chalmers received treatment on his ankle Monday “and hopefully he’ll feel better [Tuesday].”

Dwyane Wade, Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem did not travel with the team to Cleveland.

Spoelstra said he made the decision to sit James after Sunday’s game against the Bulls.

“He had a little bit of tightness from last night, but it’s much better than it was a week ago,” Spoelstra said.

James had expressed some desire to play in Cleveland, which is near his hometown of Akron, Ohio, but Spoelstra seemed firm in his decision to rest this season’s five-time Player of Month.

“I don’t know; I don’t care; I didn’t ask,” Spoelstra said of James’ wish to play against the Cavaliers. “He understands. Obviously, this is a special place for him. We’re focusing on getting everyone’s bodies right and getting in rhythm.”

Playoff prep

The date for the Heat’s first game of the playoffs will be released later this week, but there’s no question who the Heat will play in the first round. Miami will open up against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The playoffs begin Saturday, but the Heat could start its first-round series Sunday.

In years past, the Heat’s staff has had to prepare for several different first-round scenarios, but the first round of this postseason has been clear-cut.

“I already talked to our video and scouting staff and this isn’t even fair or right,” said Spoelstra, a former video coordinator for the Heat. “They have it so easy. They have one team to prepare for.

“I remember back in the day, working for Stan [Van Gundy], we had five teams at one point we were preparing for. So, they have plenty of time to get ready.”

Spoelstra said the Heat is pacing itself this week and has started preparing for the playoffs. The Heat finishes its season Wednesday against the Orlando Magic at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“Our focus will be to stay in this moment at this time,” Spoelstra said. “We still have plenty of time. We’ll have plenty of time to work on Milwaukee and get focused with that, but it is still the attitude of trying to get better every day you’re out there.”

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