MIAMI AT DENVER 8:30 p.m. Thursday ,TNT, 950 AM, 1510 AM, 93.7 FM
Spotlight on Erik Spoelstra: Perhaps the most unheralded coach of a championship team in, well, maybe ever, the Heat's Spoelstra didn't get enough credit for coping with superstar egos and high expectations and not fouling it up. He was a solid point guard himself for four seasons at the University of Portland, Notre Dame's fellow Congregation of Holy Cross school, and his father, Jon Spoelstra, is a former longtime NBA executive who was president-GM of the Nuggets from November 1989 to February 1990.
Heat: Miami will be playing the second game of a back-to-back after facing the Clippers in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. ... Denver also will be the fifth stop on a Heat trip that includes six games in nine nights. ... Miami was 2-1 on the swing going into the late Clippers game. ... LeBron James entered that matchup with five straight games of having at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, a career high for him.
Nuggets: Denver hasn't lost to the Heat at the Pepsi Center since Jan. 29, 2002, and has taken 10 straight. Every other NBA team has a victory in Denver since then. ... Danilo Gallinari suited up, but didn't participate in practice Wednesday because of a sore knee. His inactivity was billed as precautionary only. ... A win would put Denver back above .500 for the second time this season, ... After meeting the Heat, the Nuggets head out on a three-game trip to San Antonio, Memphis and Minnesota.
Footnotes: Thursday night's late start is thanks to the TNT national telecast. The first half of the TNT doubleheader is Boston at Brooklyn. (That still looks a bit funny, doesn't it?).
Terry Frei, The Denver Post