The role of Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra in turning around what appeared to be a lost season got a little closer to being recognized on Friday night. Spoelstra was named as one of three finalists in the voting for the 2016-17 NBA Coach of the Year Award and will be competing against San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich and Houston’s Mike D’Antoni.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 19, 2017
In the first few months of this past season, Spoelstra’s Heat squad was beset by injuries, leading them to a miserable 11-30 record for the first half of the campaign. Despite that major handicap and talk of the team trading away key players for future draft picks, the 46-year-old Spoelstra led his team to completely reverse its form. The Heat went 30-11 in the second half and narrowly missed a playoff berth as they were eliminated on the final night of the regular season.
In nine seasons as Miami’s head coach, Spoelstra has compiled a regular season record of 440-282, and has led seven teams to the postseason. Between 2011 and 2014, Miami reached the NBA Finals for four consecutive years, winning back-to-back titles in both 2012 and 2013.