The NBA’s Coach of the Year award is basically a joke. The award shouldn’t even be named until at the minimum the determination of the conference championship games. This year’s winner was Mike Brown from the Sacramento Kings. BTW…the Thunder who are the league’s player developmental franchise boasted the runnerup in this farcical award.
Yeah, Coach Brown did a fabulous job by getting the Kings into the NBA Playoffs, but I mean, c’mon….they came unglued in Game 7 at home against a Warriors’ team which had historical road issues all season long.
In these NBA Playoffs, the Miami Heat to date have slayed No. 1 Milwaukee and No. 2 Boston on the road in a Game 5 and a Game 7 respectfully.
Erik Spoelstra is the NBA Coach of the Year in a no brainer landslide. It was a tough season for Steve Kerr to be certain…so who would be second on my list…..Mike Malone from the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets basically have been in first place in the West since December and with the return of a healthy Jamal Murray are a 8.5 home favorite in tomorrow night’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The iconic Vince Lombardi once said about coaching, “Guys who can draw up a play or run a practice are a dime a dozen. You show me the guy who can motivate his players….and I’ll show you a coach who wins around seventy per cent of his games and championships.”
Both Erik Spoelstra and Mike Malone totally get this as coaches. I’ll bet you Mike Malone calls a timeout tomorrow night early in the third period to chew out his Fab Seven* for a lack of defensive intensity, but then about five minutes later tells them how much he loves what they’re all about. That’s coaching, my friends. That’s being human.
In my NBA classroom today….I’m featuring Erik Spoelstra’s presser following last season’s Game 7 home loss to pretty much the exact same Boston team minus Malcolm Brogdon who was a DNP late in this year’s series.
This is what a professional sports coach looks and sounds like addressing the media when discussing his (humans) players to the rest of the world. This is why these guys play so hard for Erik Spoelstra to the bitter end.
This will be Erik Spoelstra’s sixth NBA Finals in the past fifteen years. In my mind, only Steve Kerr has been in the same realm as Spoelstra as an NBA head man. Pop needs the next Timmy Duncan to show he can be great again. Never forget the First Axiom of Coaching….Player makes the coach. Always.
So tommorrow night…the Miami Heat are 8.5 road underdogs in Game 1. What to think? Will the Nuggets be game rusty after a nine day break between games? Will the Heat be emotionally spent after already slaying the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics? Will Miami be able to seamlessly adjust to the Rocky Mountain altitude which is a real thing btw?
I do not know. Because these are humans we’re talking about, but I would think by Game 2…. I’d probably feel better about taking the Heat with the 8.5.
I would think what Spoelstra will try to do is make Michael Porter defend on the pick roll and make Aaron Gordon and Jeff Green make shots when the games get to their tougher moments.
As an NBA purist who lives in the adorable Adam Silver league developmental city (Oke City)…. I can’t wait to see Miami and Denver square off in these NBA Finals.
- Fab Seven consists of Jokic, Jamal Murray, Aaron Gordon, KCP, Michael Porter, Bruce Brown, and Jeff Green.