Defending the NBA crown never an easy task, and Heat say they understand that

From the very first day of training camp, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has been talking to his team about the challenge.

Winning one title is one thing. Going back-to-back has proven to be significantly more difficult, and Spoelstra knows this.

Only four franchises in more than 40 years have captured the NBA title in consecutive seasons — the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, the Houston Rockets and the Detroit Pistons.

The Heat will try to add their name to that list starting this weekend, when they meet the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. And Spoelstra is sticking with the phrasing he used months ago, insisting "this journey will be different."