With a total score of 4-2, the Heat no longer gave the Celtics a chance, and the Eastern Conference finals ended after Game 6. The Miami Heat, the team that hardly guessed that it could reach the Eastern Conference finals at the beginning of the season, eventually broke through from the Eastern Conference and became the Los Angeles Lakers' opponent in the Finals.
This is also Spoelstra's fifth finals tour.
Unlike the last time they entered the Finals 6 years ago, this Heat does not have three superstars, and only Jimmy Butler was selected for the third team. If the success of those four years is still emphasized that "my grandma can lead the team to the finals", then this time, Spoelstra's ability is no longer controversial. The Heat lost only three games in the first three rounds of the 2020 playoffs. In the four years of the Big Three, they have lost less than this.
To put it another way, Spoelstra has coached the Heat for 12 years and has a winning percentage of more than 50% in 10 years, and he has only had four seasons with the Big Three.
Compared to the western champions dominated by the two opposing superstars, this civilian division in the east has a strong Spoelstra mark. This year, the Heat used 21 people successively, 8 of which were undrafted. Adebayor and Herro were 13th and 14th overall. The boss Butler was the last in the first round. After Meyers Leonard retreated from injury, he put Claude in the starting lineup. This lineup totaled 46.84 million, which is less than the price of two Celtics.
In February, the Heat took away Waiters, James Johnson and Winslow in one go. At that time, people's evaluation was: The Heat cleaned up the redundant salary structure and created opportunities for the future. According to everyone's assumptions, how could a semi-lacrosse team consisting of temporary workers and mercenaries break out of the East?
But the thought that it was Spoelstra who led the team, it instantly became clear.
In these 12 coaching seasons, Spoelstra has experienced an extreme roller coaster lineup, from starting from scratch to the Big Three, then to the driving of Emperor Zhan, Bosh retired from illness.
Perhaps only Spoelstra and Dallas coach Carlisle, who took office in the same year, have this ability. After the Big Three, fans have rarely even cared about the Heat's tactics and rhythm, but they have never entered the stage. The mode, the lowness and ignorance of the outside world, has no effect on Spoelstra. His work is the same as usual, watching the video of the next opponent and going through the whole night.
Just like when it was just started.
Spoelstra, who is 1.88 meters tall, also received a basketball scholarship from the University of Portland. He played as a starting point guard for four years, averaging 9.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists. After finishing his four-year college career, He also received an undergraduate diploma in communication. Then he chose a different path from everyone else: he went to play for the German First Division Tuskheden team while also serving as the assistant coach of the second division second team. Two years later, Pat
At that time, Riley's authority did not allow to increase manpower, but Riley knew the importance of video editors. His assistant knew Spoelstra's skills well and eventually convinced him to come to the Heat.
That year, Spoelstra was 25 years old.
He took the bottom salary and edited a video in an office under the Miami Stadium without a warehouse. He called this room a "dungeon." Every night when the game is over, Spoelstra starts to work, editing the video, and put the video on Riley’s desk until it’s dark in the morning. In the afternoon, Spoelstra wakes up and looks at Mo Ning and Tim Hardaway greeted them, "It's really nice to see everyone."
Spoelstra was never a talented player. He was even eliminated by the school team in middle school. He practiced 30,000 jump shots in a summer and eventually became the strongest guard in the entire state. When he was in college, he transformed his home into a small office, editing Jordan and Richmond singles videos. Portland’s competitor is Montana State University, which is known for its complex and diverse tactics. Spoelstra went to watch their game and told the coach when he returned, “I already know what each of their gestures represents. Tactical."
After getting his degree, he went to work in Nike's warehouse, packing sneakers. Until he got the German coaching contract, he started teaching with a 12-year-old kid, and he didn't speak German at all. While in Germany, he subscribed to a service online and received videos of NBA and college games from a week ago.
Even when I came to the Heat, I applied for the position of Heat Video Editor when I bet with my teammates in Germany. His character is humble, or rather timid. In 1999, the Heat planned to promote him as a scout. He flinched and did not dare to accept it. In the end, Riley appointed him directly. Two years later, Riley appointed him as an assistant coach. He flinched again, still afraid to do it. not good. So every night after finishing his work, he would secretly work overtime for himself at 4:45 and share the workload among his colleagues. Finally, he compiled a report of all other teams in the league.
In 2007, Riley decided to retire. After a loss, the team flew back to Miami. Riley told Spoelstra, "Be prepared," Spoelstra squeezed out a nervous smile, "Don't be kidding. "But he also knew that Riley had enough. In the 2007-08 season, the Heat hit the bottom of the league with 15 wins and 67 losses. Riley immediately announced his retirement and put Spoelstra on the foreground.
That year, he was 38 years old.
In Spoelstra's first season in charge, the Heat won 43 games; the following year, they won 47 games. In addition to Wade, his hands are rookie Beasley, as well as Marion or O'Neal who is absent-minded. "I'm here to transition," Spoelstra comforted himself, "When they make up the lineup, I will do what I should do."
In 2010, Riley was good at dancing with long sleeves and won the Big Three. Spoelstra once thought that he was going to give up the handsome position, but Riley told him, "Relax, you are the best." Wade later said that when recruiting James and Bosh, they were both too. Doubt, but Wade told them that Spoelstra is the most suitable coach for the Heat, and he knows how to make everyone on this team comfortable.
Behind all this is Spoelstra's crazy work day and night. Even though he is already an NBA coach, he will continue to study video after the game until dawn. He will still walk to the training ground in the afternoon of the next day and greet the players, "It's nice to see you."
When he was an assistant coach, he had a nickname, "training expert", he used a lot of videos to judge the player's development direction. He has developed a separate training plan for each team member. The number one beneficiary is naturally Wade: Wade rarely shoots in college, just hits the basket with a lightning-fast first step, and Spoelstra helped Wade make an emergency stop after a dribble. Distance, this trick later became Wade's killer. Wade’s evaluation is, “I wouldn’t be who I am today without the special training he gave me.”
Spoelstra was still content with the status quo, and every time he was promoted and broken through, he secretly told himself that it was nothing. In the first two years, he told Riley that I gradually adapted to coaching an ordinary team. Riley answered him, then it's time for you to be a little bit challenging. After that, Spoel became the head coach of the Big Three.
The pressure suddenly increased, and Spoelstra became overwhelmed. On the one hand, his character is too quiet, he rarely delves into how to get along with the players, but concentrates on the tactics. On the other hand, the boss behind this team is Riley. Spoelstra doesn't know at all, and doesn't care what players Riley will bring in or make deals. He and Riley have a tacit understanding of each other, and they will use whatever tactics are used in exchange.
"Just study more videos," he told himself.
He often worked until he lay on the office floor and fell asleep. When he woke up, he couldn't remember where he did yesterday; he would send out a thick manual to his team members every year, named The Heat Code. It described the team’s mission and celebrity quotes in detail. In an eye-catching position, Spoelstra wrote, “We hope to be: the most diligent, stateful, professional, selfless, and most The toughest, the dirtiest, the most annoying, and the most well-prepared team.” In the pictures in the manual, there are often pictures of collisions and blood.
他经常工作直到躺在办公室地板上睡着为止。当他醒来时，他不记得昨天去哪里了。他每年都会向他的团队成员发送一本厚实的手册，名为《 The Heat Code》。它详细描述了团队的使命和名人名言。斯波尔斯特拉（Spoelstra）处于引人注目的位置，“我们希望成为：最勤奋，有状态，专业，无私，最坚强，最肮脏，最烦人，准备最充分的团队。”在手册的图片中，经常有碰撞和鲜血的图片。
When he first owned the Big Three, the Heat only won 9 games in the first 17 games. He found a few friends to be a guest at home and relax. Then he said, "I won't go out to play anymore." The next 22 games, the Heat Won 21 games.
He was still humble and cautious, and was recognized by passers-by once and asked him "Can you win 60 this year?" He was at a loss, hesitant to say what to say. Deep down in his heart, he still failed to accept that he was the head coach of the best team in the league. His teacher Adelman gave a reasonable explanation.
"People think it's easy to be a coach of a powerful team, then they are very wrong," Adelman said. "You have too many things to do outside of the game, you win, they think they should Yes. If you lose, you have to bear responsibility for it."
In 2011, Spoelstra blasted Thibodeau in the Eastern Conference finals and locked Ross with James. But that year he missed the championship and people ridiculed him. Next, he mentioned James to the power forward, removed the traditional center, and the Heat won two consecutive championships.
In the interview after the championship, he was the familiar Spoelstra, "You have to feel uncomfortable, you can't allow yourself to enter your comfort zone, things are always changing, you have to force yourself to adapt."
He doesn't always have prestige, and he still has it so far. People like to leave the credit to James, to Wade, and to Riley, but they like to leave the responsibility to him when he performs poorly. And Spoelstra only said, "Go defend well and play every round. It's not for me to work hard, you have to know that all wins are all done by you."
But the evaluations of his colleagues are the most pertinent. Van Gundy said, "He is the most serious and outstanding head coach I have ever met. In the future, I will bring my grandchildren and granddaughters to see him in the Hall of Fame."
He is too devoted to work. It was not until 2016 when he was 46 years old that he married his wife, Nicky Sapp, who was the Heat’s cheerleader. His father used to be the top management of four teams, but Spoelstra took a completely different path.
In 2017, his coaching wins surpassed Riley, rising to the first in Heat team history. He still doesn't like scolding players and is not good at using chicken soup to warm people up, but he knows why he became the head coach for 12 years.
"Stay curious," he said, "every day I find things I don't understand, and I really like to find new answers."
He will coach the championship team for the fifth time.
This year, he was 49 years old.