Miami Heat Head Coach Eric Spoelstra is officially off the hot seat. Not that he was ever really on it, but on more than one occasion this season, plenty of fans and people in the media were calling for Spoe’s head. Of course, winning has a way of quieting the critics and the Heat won their fifth game in a row on Sunday night, beating the Houston Rockets 125-119. Coach Spoelstra preaches defense, but this game was all about scoring points.
The “Big Three” were more like the “Huge Three” against the Rockets. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh all had at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. It’s the first time in Miami’s 23 year franchise history that three teammates have done that in the same game, and in fact, the last time it happened in the NBA was 1961. On that night 50 years ago, Oscar Robertson, Wayne Embry, and Jack Twyman all did the deed while playing for the Cincinnati Royals. In addition to the superstars lighting it up, Mike Bibby had a very solid night as well with 14 points. With the recent knee injury to Mario Chalmers, Miami will need Bibby to continue to contribute like this as they push towards the playoffs.
The Heat’s “Big Three” are going to get plenty of credit for Miami’s improved play over the last 9 games. The team is 8-1 during this stretch and is chasing down Boston for the #2 seed. The players deserve plenty of credit, but so does Spoelstra. This coach has done exactly what he needed to; be patient and stay true to your principles. He has faced an ungodly amount of pressure this season and he has not backed away from it. Nor has the coach backed down when confronted by the likes of King James himself. You have heard big time coaches talk about managing egos and how that is your most important job when coaching this type of team. Right now, the Miami Heat are the New York Yankees, and Spoe has to be Joe(Torre or Girardi, doesn’t matter). The same people who criticized the coach will probably say that the he hasn’t done anything different or special, so he doesn’t deserve the credit when the team is playing well like this. Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. If Spoelstra catches heat(so to speak) when the team isn’t playing well, that means that the guy also gets some credit when Miami has turned it around. Eric has stuck to his guns and DWade has taken over the leadership role on the court. Those two facts are probably the biggest reasons that the Heat players have progressed, thus the team has improved it’s play over the last couple of weeks. Just in time for the NBA Playoffs, the Miami Heat look scary.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).