Riley on Heat: No need to overreact
The Miami Heat have floundered of late, but not enough to consider removing coach Erik Spoelstra, team president Pat Riley said.
"Write it off. Write it off. It's the media being neurotic," Riley, responding to a question about Spoelstra's job security, told the Newark Star-Ledger while attending the men's Big East tournament in New York.
"It's [the media's] need to make a story, create a story, and make that story come true. And that ain't going to happen. Write it off. We're just in a tough time right now, we'll get through it."
The Heat have lost five straight and play host Thursday to the Los Angeles Lakers, who have won eight in a row.
In its losing streak -- in which four defeats have come on its home court -- Miami has been unable to score at the end of close games and lost by 30 points to No. 1 Western Conference seed San Antonio, and Chris Bosh has complained about his role in the offense.
After Sunday's one-point loss to the Chicago Bulls, Spoelstra said some Heat players were moved to tears in the locker room -- a possible indication that the pain of losing has turned to despair.
"I know they'll get it," Riley told the Star-Ledger. "But everyone has to overreact to things right now."
The Heat, in fact, can clinch a playoff berth with a victory Thursday night. Still, it stands as little consolation to a team that is winless on its current 11-game stretch against teams with winning records.
Miami is currently the third seed in the Eastern Conference, 2½ games behind No. 2 Chicago and only 1½ ahead of rival and No. 4 seed Orlando.
"We're going through some tough times and we will get through it," Riley said. "It's like anything else, like I always say, the playoffs will tell.
"Everything else now is just rhetoric. And we're getting ready for that time. And I don't really care what position we play from."