What could justify Miami’s Erik Spoelstra calling a time out with little more than a half minute to play in last night’s 90-77 blowout of Da Bulls? Other than, y’know, checking on his eBay bid for a copy of The Eat’s “Communist Radio”. Instead, the Heat’s head coach insisted to the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman, “I wanted to get our starters out”, but his Chicago counterpart — who lost the services of Luol Deng earlier in the night — isn’t buying it.
“They had some guys at the scorers’ table,” Spoelstra said. “I wasn’t clearly doing anything to show anybody up. That is a common practice in the NBA. I wanted to get our guys out, just in case something crazy would happen, and it allowed them to get their subs in, too.”
The Bulls didn’t see it that way. During that timeout huddle, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro could be seen imploring his players to, “Remember this!”
After the game, Del Negro first said sarcastically, “They were just calling timeout to set up a play or something.”
He continued, “I don’t know what they were doing. There’s 30 seconds to go in the game. They’re up 15 or 13 or whatever. But, whatever, we’ll play them again.”
Replay showed no substitutes waiting at the scorers’ table for the Bulls, nor did Chicago substitute during that break.
“I don’t know why they’re all fired up,” Spoelstra said. “If they want to make a big deal about it, whatever.”
Winderman points out there was a prior stoppage of play with 1:20 remaining, so there was an earlier opportunity for Spoelstra to make his moves.