Heat coach Erik Spoelstra alludes Jazz’ early struggle to ‘outrageous’ schedule
The Miami Heat took no shame losing to a middle-of-the-pack Western Conference team, as the Utah Jazz drummed a 111-84 victory on their home floor, only boosting their record to 14-15 this season. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra attributed their subpar record to a cruel schedule to start the season.
“With Utah, I just think everybody’s overlooking something that nobody wants to hear about: Their schedule has been outrageous,” said Spoelstra, according to Ryan McDonald of The Deseret News. “They’ve basically lived in a hotel for the first six weeks of the season. Come talk to me in two months and we’ll see what their record is. I think they’ll be climbing up that Western Conference pretty quickly.”
The Jazz have played 18 of their 29 games on the road and managed to come back from a brutal schedule last season as well, along with a key injury to center Rudy Gobert through the early stretch, managing to go from the 10th spot in the West to finish with the fifth seed in the conference.
Utah took the Oklahoma City Thunder apart in the first round before getting smoked by the top-seeded Rockets, losing by double digits in each of their defeats over a 4-1 series.
The Jazz are still struggling to burst into the playoff picture, but have won five of their last eight games, to put them in the bubble. Building a 42-point lead against the Heat will surely serve as a boost of confidence, hoping to close down the calendar year with a record over the .500 mark.