Erik Spoelstra coached circles around Brad Stevens in the Eastern Conference Finals, yet for some reason, he still has yet to receive the credit he deserve.
Gregg Popovich, Nick Nurse and others are often mentioned when the league’s top coaches are brought up. In fact, Doc Rivers has even been discussed at times, despite being on the opposite end of one of the biggest chokejobs in NBA history, blowing a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets in the second round, which got him fired earlier in the week.
And then there’s Coach Spo, who has taken a team that didn’t even make the playoffs last season to the NBA Finals. The Heat, aside from Jimmy Butler, don’t have any proven stars, but Spoelstra has put his players in position to succeed, and the team’s zone defense has been surprisingly effective.
Even LeBron James, who played for Spoelstra from 2010-14, went to bat for the coach he’ll be opposing in the Finals this year.
LeBron said media is responsible for Erik Spoelstra not getting enough respect. "The players and coaches know how great Spo is. There's a narrative Spo is not great."
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) September 29, 2020
Props for James for giving Spo some much-deserved praise.