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Erik Spoelstra, Heat impressed by Hawks progress

Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat were very complementary of the progress made by the Atlanta Hawks under head coach Mike Budenholzer.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to Monday's game, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talked about the Atlanta Hawks and was very complimentary of the progress the team has made under first-year coach Mike Budenholzer.

From Chris Vivlamore's pregame report for the AJC:

"I'm really impressed with them," Spoelsta said. "I am. I mentioned this to our team today, I'm as impressed with them right now as any team we've played so far in terms of their improvement. You can see a very specific system and style of how they are trying to play and how fast that has been implemented. You know this team is going to continue to get better and they will be a much different time springtime.

After the Hawks took the Heat to limit in a 121-119 loss the sentiment hadn't changed. Chris Bosh talked about Atlanta's offense and the tear they are currently on.

"They're an awesome offensive team," Bosh said. "They've been on a tear lately. We see why. ... It was difficult all night, but eventually we found a way."

It would have been a big confidence boost for the Hawks had they been able to pull out a victory. It might not have registered in the national media most of who are caught up on the struggles of the Eastern Conference. Plus Miami was missing Dwyane Wade who adds yet another dynamic to their attack.

Still it is nice to see the Hawks get mention from one of the most respected (underrated?) coaches in the league in Spoelstra. Atlanta still has a long way to go in terms of becoming a championship contender but seem to be well on their way to becoming a team that is not an easy out for anyone.