Defending champion Heat arrive in SLC, where they've struggled
>The Miami Heat are in Salt Lake City tonight for their 7 p.m. game against the Jazz. Miami has lost two of its last three games on a long road trip, and has struggled at EnergySolutions Arena in recent years. While the Heat have won 12 of the last 17 games in the series dating back to February 2004, the Jazz have won two of the last three at home.
Following their morning shoot around, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and coach Erik Spoelstra discussed the Jazz and the expectations and challenges their own team faces each time out.
LeBron James On the atmosphere at ESA | The fans give them an extra boost of confidence. They get them excited they're always into the game, they know the game of basketball, so much history, as far as their organization. So they're great.
On what he likes about the Jazz | They got big bodies with Millsap and Jefferson and Favors and Kanter. And I think Gordon Hayward is a really good player as well and those guys play together. One thing about this team they're going to play together each and every night so we're going to have to be ready for it.
On pressure facing the Heat in every game | I was referring to all of our games as the playoffs. That's how it is, everybody plays well. Because of that our margin for error is minimal. We have to make sure we concentrate from the get-go. Do a good job on the boards, take care of the ball and not really have any mental lapses because against a good team like this at their crib, you'll shoot yourself in the foot if you do that too many times."
On his role | I like to go inside and out, if I have opportunities in the post, I want to play in the post. With LeBron and Dwyane playing in the post a lot of my looks come on the perimeter. I just have to make sure I'm consistent with those shots, make sure I'm aggressive, and make plays when it's time to make plays."
Whether the pressure is increased after winning title | The margin of error is very minimal for us, because teams play so well. We have to stay concentrated at all times, there's no time for letdowns, even for one minute of the game. It's stressful, but that's all a part of it. We asked for it. We earned it and we have to continue to earn it."
Coach Erik Spoelstra
On Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap | Obviously their paint game and post up game is one of the biggest things we have to contend with and those two guys are forces, they really are. They put a lot of pressure on your defense - not only to stop them, but to not foul them. And they're even more aggressive here at home.