They’ll say Erik Spoelstra doesn’t deserve votes. He’s Pat Riley’s puppet and has the best player on the planet. He has superstars and was blessed with a great team. But in the words of Riley, “Don’t penalize him because he has a great team,” because a great team never stopped Phil Jackson from winning one. And it shouldn’t stop coach Spoelstra either.
Within three years, he took Miami from being a first round out to a title contender. Now of course the Big Three were huge but coach Spoelstra was able to do what many coaches couldn’t. He checked his ego and stopped trying to over coach. And as he stepped to the side, his team did too.
His “position-less” basketball allowed him to trick players into doing things they’ve refused. Lebron James stopped relying on his jump shot and took his muscles down the block. Chris Bosh moonlit in the middle without having to worry about the boards and Dwayne Wade actually passed the baton.
The result was a season full of landmarks for the 13th team in history to reach 66 wins and a year that slightly pushed Spoelstra out of Riley’s spotlight.
If that’s not enough to lift the Red Auerbach Trophy, then he never will.
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Richard Nurse is a Miami Heat columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr.