Last year Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had no problem discussing what he termed the team's "maintenance program."
This year, it's a bit different.
Spoelstra said he had no plans to rest players the second half of the season because it's too early to even think about it. The decision to sit players at various times last year was an effort to give them breaks during the lockout-shortened season.
"I'm not even going to get into that," Spoelstra said after Tuesday's practice. "That bugs the heck out of me. We're not going to start talking about maintenance right now. That's a this-generation-of-media obsession of when do you start sitting guys. We have 32 games left. That's absurd."
The Heat last year rested guard Dwyane Wade on several occasions to preserve his health for the playoffs. Spoelstra said the chances of it happening again are highly unlikely, and certainly not at this point in the season.
"We've talked about it enough," Spoelstra said. "We will base all of our decisions on what's best for us now and the big picture. We will determine guys' health on a day-to-day basis."
The Heat have nine back-to-backs during the second half of the season. Despite averaging a team-high 38.5 minutes, forward LeBron James said sitting out games on purpose are not in his plans.
"I get tired," James said. "I'll be ready for the nine back to backs. That doesn't concern me at all."
One reason for the change is the Heat putting more of an emphasis on earning the overall No. 1 seed in the playoffs. After saying seeding mattered little in the past two seasons, both James and Wade said they would like to make a strong effort to catch the league-leading San Antonio Spurs just in case they meet in the NBA Finals.
"We'd love to get the No. 1 seed," Wade said.
Heat forward Udonis Haslem is expected back in the starting lineup Wednesday against the Atlanta Hawks. He practiced fully Tuesday after missing last Thursday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Haslem did not travel with the team, but Spoelstra said a week off helped him recover quicker from the lower left leg bruise he suffered against the Portland Trail Blazers Feb. 12.
"We'll see how he responds," Spoelstra said. "He was able to play and compete (in practice) like he always does today. That was a little bit of a surprise."
Roster moves unlikely
While the rest of league is paying close attention to Thursday's trade deadline, the Heat are among those to likely have no midseason moves.
The decision to sign forward Chris Andersen was probably the last transaction of the season.
"We're comfortable with what we have," James said. "We're confident. We're not a part of the talk of the trades before the deadline."
Spoelstra said the thought has not even crossed his mind.
"My mind wasn't even focused on that at all (Tuesday)," he said. "It was on getting back to work with these guys in the gym."
Spoelstra did say he met with team president Pat Riley about possibilities, but that is simply standard procedure.
"We always meet. Pat will never stop working," Spoelstra said. "That's his job. But my job is to coach the team. I have enough to think about."