Reaction from brutally blunt Heat film session: ‘Things were said that needed to be said’

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Heat players and coaches emerged from a brutally blunt film session and conversation on Tuesday hopeful that they will snap out of an ongoing malaise — and seven-game losing streak, its longest since 2008 — and begin to more closely resemble the high-effort, high-energy teams that were more representative of “Heat Culture.”

“We heard the communication loud and clear; it provided a lot of clarity for all of us,” Bam Adebayo said after the team watched film but did not practice in advance of Wednesday’s home game against Sacramento (7:30 p.m., Bally Sports Sun). “We walked out with a lot of clarity and a lot of confidence.” Adebayo spoke of players “being vulnerable” during the film session.

“Things were said that needed to be said,” Caleb Martin said. “I really do think we’re on the same page.”

Guard Terry Rozier said Tuesday’s session “was super helpful with the video, talking to one another.”

Meanwhile, coach Erik Spoelstra indicated he isn’t planning any starting lineup changes and believes a Tyler Herro/Terry Rozier starting backcourt should and can work.

Highlights of what Spoelstra and players told reporters afterward:

Asked if he wants to give the starting lineup more time, Spoelstra said: “Yeah. Right now this is about our house. We have got to get our structure right and live up to our standards, which we set at the beginning of the year…. We have a group fully committed to getting this back on the right track. Everybody is extremely frustrated, angry, despondent.”

The Heat has started Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Haywood Highsmith, Herro and Rozier during the past the losses.

Asked the solutions, Spoelstra said: “Toughness — mental, physical, emotional competitive toughness. The schematics are second, third, fourth, fifth [behind that]… That’s what we worked on today, finding solutions that are really none of your business, and I say that respectfully.”

Asked what he saw from his players during a film session, Spoelstra said: “That’s for me to know.”

Asked about the decision to watch tape and have a discussion instead of practicing on the court, Spoelstra said: “That’s semantics. We had a very productive day.”

Asked if he still sees a fit with Herro and Rozier as starters, Spoelstra said: “Yes I do.”

Prodded about whether that can be a successful backcourt defensively, Spoelstra said: “We have enough where our guys can all be plus defenders in our system, including those two. They bring great speed and quickness at their positions.”

Asked if there’s anger, frustration or disappointment, Adebayo said: “All of the above. We’ve in this losing hole too long.”

Adebayo — who has taken much of the leadership mantle from the retired Udonis Haslem — was asked if he’s comfortable angrily confronting teammates if the effort is unacceptable.

“One hundred percent,” he said. “That’s part of my growth… UD just loses his mind sometimes. I focus in when everybody is in the huddle to show my frustration.”

Martin said “what bothers me most right now” is “the fact what we’re known for, that’s our identity, the fact we’re not doing that, we’re not being felt on the defensive end, whether it’s energy… effort, doing what we’re capable of doing.”

Rozier, who has lost his first four games with the Heat, said “it has been devastating, with a seven-game losing streak. This organization, when you lose, it bothers them.”

Rozier noted: “I’ve never been told in a full week this many times to play my game or how to play my game. I know how to play my game. I’ve got so much respect for those guys in here I don’t want to just come in and take pull-up threes.”

Rozier can push pace, and Rozier said Spoelstra has told players “this is how we want to play. If we can start 21, 22 seconds on the shot clock, it’s super helpful. I like to push and that’s not going to change and I’m pretty sure everyone will get adjusted pretty fast [to give] ourselves options before the defense can get set.”

ROBINSON OUT

Duncan Robinson, who missed the second half of Monday’s loss to Phoenix because he wasn’t feeling well, has entered concussion protocol and is out for Wednesday’s game. Robinson took a hard fall and his head snapped back and hit the court on Saturday against the Knicks. Delayed symptoms kicked in when he started playing Monday.

Sharpshooting wing Cole Swider is flying in from South Dakota to join the team.

Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. was named to the NBA’s Rising Stars competition on Feb. 16 in Indianapolis, an event that helps kick off All-Star weekend. The event — featuring four teams and three games — will air at 9 p.m. on TNT.

NBA assistant coaches selected the 11 NBA rookies (including Jaquez) and 10 second-year players who will participate. The league office selected seven G League players, a group that includes Alondes Williams, who plays for the Heat’s G League affiliate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Jaquez is the 11th Heat player in franchise history to be selected for the Rising Stars Game, joining a list that includes Khalid Reeves (1995), Kurt Thomas (1996), Caron Butler (2003), Dwyane Wade (2004 and 2005), Udonis Haslem (2004 and 2005), Michael Beasley (2009 and 2010), Norris Cole (2012), Kendrick Nunn (2020), Tyler Herro (2020 and 2021) and Precious Achiuwa (2021).