As the Miami Heat lost to the Denver Nuggets Thursday night, it was a familiar sight as the two teams faced off in the NBA Finals last season where the latter won in five games. In an interview with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and star Bam Adebayo spoke candidly about falling in the championship series as the former said it was “tough.”

“It is tough. There's no question about it,” Spoelstra said. “There's no solace in making it that far and coming up short. But it happened, and you have to take ownership for that and also give credit to Denver. They were fantastic in that series, and they earned it all the way through it.”

However, Spoelstra's mindset is not letting the disappointment drown them, but the dread can be used to lift them up even further. He would go into detail saying that on the other end, “winning can be the worst teacher” and “losing sometimes unfortunately can be the greatest.”

“Sometimes pain can drive the most growth collectively in this profession. Sometimes winning can be the worst teacher, and losing sometimes unfortunately can be the greatest teacher,” Spoelstra said. “And that pain sometimes can motivate you and drive you to a necessary level. The one thing we all realized is we needed and we need to get to a higher level to be able to finish the job.”

Bam Adebayo talks losing in the NBA Finals

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) attempts a shot against Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

For Spoelstra, he has been to six NBA Finals, twice involving Bam Adebayo who has been a foundation piece for the Heat since he was drafted in 2017. While he is still looking for his first championship, he was candid in talking about how he is reeling from losing.

“You can't really put a timetable on getting over a Finals loss because there are moments where you'd just be eating and you might see a basketball and you just start thinking about it,” Bam Adebayo said via Bleacher Report. “So you can't really put a timetable on it.”

During the NBA Finals, Adebayo averaged 21.8 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in the five games against the Nuggets. Looking more on the present on Thursday, he scored 22 points, collected eight rebounds, and held down superstar Nikola Jokic for the most part.

Adebayo talks about how the feeling of losing stayed with him

While Adebayo has proven to be a star in this league and continues to inprove by the year, there is no doubt that the loss stayed with him.

“I feel like it is easier when you get lost into the season because then you are worried about so much other stuff. And then once the game ends, you get almost a full month to do nothing,” Adebayo said. “So all you do is think about the fact that we lost and they won. Obviously you see all the celebrations and s*** going on. All you can do is nod your head to that and tip your cap because they did win, but we also want one for ourselves.”

Miami will try to get back to the NBA Finals this season as they are currently 33-26 which puts them eighth in the Eastern Conference. Their next game is Saturday against the Utah Jazz.