Miami Heat: Why Erik Spoelstra is still one of the top coaches in the NBA

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MIAMI, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 27: Head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat reacts against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at American Airlines Arena on February 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Miami Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra is “just a guy” and barely a top 10 coach. These are completely wrong statements. He is a top 5 coach and here’s why.

During the Miami Heat versus the New Orleans Pelicans summer league game a commentator, Dan Dakich made some controversial statements. Among these statements were the following:

  1. He is just a guy
  2. Nate McMillian is ahead
  3. His success is only due to LeBron James
  4. Brad Stevens is better
  5. He isn’t a top 10 coach

All five of these statements are blasphemous and any basketball fan, not even a Miami Heat fan will tell you the same thing.

Around the league, Spoelstra is a well-respected coach by the players and by all the other 29 coaches. In the 2016-17 season, the National Basketball Coaches Associations had their first official Coach of the Year award and without surprise, Spoelstra was the co-winner.

The consensus amongst the public is that Spoelstra is a top-five coach in the league but because of the success he had was with the big three, his ability to coach goes under the radar and has since then become underrated. But there are some people who like Spoelstra but don’t think he’s a great coach.

In his 11-year career, Erik Spoelstra has coached the Miami Heat for 886 games and winning 523 giving him a 59 percent winning record. This ranks him second in wins among the current coaches to Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. As for the playoffs, he is ranked 15th all-time in wins and 13th in winning percentage. Not only that, he is a two-time champion with four trips to the NBA Finals.

But it goes much further than that. There are many reasons why he is one of the best coaches right now and will be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he finally decides to hang up the clipboard.

Let’s start with reason number one, his defensive mentality.

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