Winning two NBA titles, back-to-back at that, should automatically boost a coach’s resume, but doing it with a team that is as stacked as the Miami Heat when they had the trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, puts to doubt the accomplishment on the part of the bench tactician.
Erik Spoelstra was an unproven coach when three huge stars fell on his lap in South Beach. He’s no Pat Riley by any means, but he managed to make make things work around a triumvirate of combustible elements that resulted in two championships and four finals appearance in as many years.
Those feats deserve credit, respect, and recognition for Spoelstra. People may have forgotten, or simply shrugged off, just how good of a coach he is. But this season, the 46-year-old has brought some serious attention to his craft.
In Tom D’Angelo’s article for The Palm Beach Post, Spoelstra’s former long-time star in Dwyane Wade alludes to his makeup as one of the best coaches in the league.
“I think this year probably opened a lot of eyes to his and his staff’s coaching ability.”
“What that team has been able to accomplish is incredible, the way they continue to keep winning.”
After a lethargic start to the season, the Miami Heat are now just a half-game behind the Milwaukee Bucks for a tie of the East’s final playoff seed. Since January 17, the Heat have scorched their way to a 20-4 record, which includes an unexpected 13-game winning streak. During that period, they have beaten heavyweight teams such Golden State, Houston (twice), and potential first round opponent Cleveland (twice).
Spoelstra’s body of work for the Heat this season can be seen in the team’s well-distributed production. The Heat currently has seven players averaging in double figures with the exception of the injured Justise Winslow who normed 10.9 points per game himself.
Erik Spoelstra has arguably crashed the conversation for Coach of the Year, but if he doesn’t get the nod, he’s earned a ton of respect in the process.