The Miami Heat need more rebounds. They don't need more rebounders.
That was the message from coach Erik Spoelstra following Saturday's practice at AmericanAirlines Arena, a session that came in the wake of being pummeled 48-28 on the boards in Friday's 96-89 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
"The answers are in this gym, and we're capable of it," Spoelstra insisted.
While the Heat thrived with a small-ball approach during their postseason run to last season's NBA championship, the team took a more conventional approach during the regular season in the first two seasons with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Two seasons ago, that meant time in the middle for Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Erick Dampier. Last season, it meant injecting Ronny Turiaf into the mix.
With the Heat having been obliterated on the boards in recent weeks by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic and, now, the Bulls, Spoelstra was asked whether Pat Riley, in his role as lead personnel executive, had been brought into the discussion.
"We never stop talking about trying to improve the team," Spoelstra said. "That's Pat's nature. That's why I love working for him. But the answer right now is from within, and we all know that, the guys know that."
Through a team spokesman, Riley, who declined to be interviewed, said Saturday, "We are always very diligent in looking for ways to improve this team. Having said that, we have enough."
The Heat in the offseason allowed Turiaf to depart to the Los Angeles Clippers as a free agent, bypassed Andray Blatche in free agency in favor Rashard Lewis, and passed on offseason interest from veteran forward Kenyon Martin.
The best of current available free-agent big men include Chris Andersen, Ben Wallace, Dan Gadzuric, Earl Barron, D.J. Mbenga, Tony Battie, Hassan Whiteside and former Heat center Mickell Gladness.
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But while Spoelstra has his conversations with Riley, his players are prepared to move forward without a robo-rebounder being added.
"We got what we got," James said. "We can't go searching for something that we don't have. What we've got in the lineup or what we got in uniform is who we have, so we got to go out and get a job done."