Erik Spoelstra Watch

Monday, November 03, 2008

As the first Asian American coach in the NBA I thought I'd post up a quick snippet I saw on ESPN's Daily Dime sidebar on Erik Spoelstra in the "Who Has the Hardest New Gig?" for coaches section:

Of the eight new coaches in the NBA, here is how I rank them in terms of who has the toughest challenge this season...

8. Erik Spoelstra, Heat: Total freebie for rookie coach down in Miami. Just let Michael Beasley go and hope Dwyane Wade doesn't bail when he can opt out.
Considering the Miami Heat's record last season was 15-67 I'd say freebie was apropos and I think under Riley, Spoelstra's got a good three to four years to turn the team around (and hopefully they won't stay down at the bottom of the Southwest division all year).

Here are some recent articles on Spoelstra and the Miami Heat:

Defense remains top priority for Miami Heat

There is no identity crisis for the Heat. Coach Erik Spoelstra knows his team has to be sound defensively so it can run the floor and take advantage of its athleticism. After Saturday's 100-87 loss at Charlotte, the first-year coach spent Monday's practice reminding his team of that.

''It was a defensive session to remind us who we are and what our identity is,'' Spoelstra said. ``We are not an offensive team first. As well as it looked the other night against Sacramento, that was created by our activity and energy and intensity on the defensive end. [On Monday}, we got back to that.''
Season preview: Miami Heat

Spoelstra will need time to grow. Everyone in the Heat organization knew Spoelstra was the coach-in-waiting; in the previous two seasons, he was a dominant voice in practice and had Pat Riley's ear when it came to game strategy. But like every other rookie coach, the 37-year-old Spoelstra will experience growing pains. Spoelstra is an excellent basketball mind, and his decision to try to make the Heat a more up-tempo team is a smart one, but there will undoubtedly be bumps along the way.