Erik Spoelstra is Coach of the Year

Brendan Tobin
March 03, 2017 - 2:07 pm

By Brendan Tobin

Heat culture may have been brought here by Pat Riley, but it’s sharpened each day by Erik Spoesltra. It’s not easy replacing a legend. Ask any Dolphins quarterback since Marino. Spoelstra has handled all of the “noise” (favored Spoism) with such calm. Plenty of fans wanted to dump on Spo when he didn’t play Michael Beasley enough in the his first two years. Others thought he didn’t have the charisma or presence to handle LeBron James on his team. Some said his titles are gift wrapped because of the Big Three. Then there was the group who wanted him to move on because they missed the playoffs after James’ departure. We call these folks, the dummies.

This has to be the year that puts it all to rest. Another season without Chris Bosh. His first year without Dwyane Wade. His first round pick from last season played just 18 games. Yet the Heat are staring the playoffs right in the face. It would be his 8th trip in 9 seasons. Rare are the players who come to Miami and don’t get better. That includes James. He’s now leading a roster that has 8-players who have spent time in the D-league. Spo and his staff turned a center who was posting up llamas in Lebanon to a $98M man. He turned Tyler Johnson into a $50M playmaker. He’s taken outcasts like James Johnson and Dion Waiters and made them vital to the team’s success (They’ll also be getting PAID). He’s trusted Rodney McGruder to take the role of defensive stopper for the injured Justise Winslow. McGruder has flourished.

Erik Spoesltra is going to get overlooked again. He won’t get named NBA coach of the year. That’s locked by Mike D’Antoni because of the Rockets offensive surge in points and record this season. Spo got the best of them twice this season. It doesn’t matter. That award is a huge jinx anyway. Half the coaches who get named COY get canned soon after. I’m here to award Spo our own coach of the year award. It’s a higher honor and not going to end in bad luck. No self-respecting Heat fan can doubt Erik Spoelstra anymore. In the great words of 790 TheTicket listener Karen Rose, he’s the inSPOration.

Photo USA TODAY Sports

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