Survey shows Heat coach Spoelstra is the ‘best head coach’ in 2020-21 NBA season

Published December 20, 2020, 4:53 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat looks on during a preseason game against the New Orleans Pelicans on December 14, 2020 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

A survey conducted by NBA.com showed that Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is the “best head coach” in the league for the 2020-21 season.

In an NBA.com article by John Schumann on Friday, Spoelstra earned the most votes in three different categories in the 19th annual NBA.com GM Survey.

Spoelstra came in first as the best head coach with 46 percent followed by Toronto Raptors’ Nick Nurse and San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich at second tied at 18 percent.

Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics ranked fourth while Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks and Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors received votes.

The Filipino-American coach also topped as the best manager/motivator of people with 32 percent while Popovich (21 percent) and Kerr (18 percent) placed second and third respectively.

The polls revealed that Spoelstra is the best when it comes to in-game adjustments, earning 26 percent of the votes while Carlisle (19 percent) and Nurse (15 percent) were behind.

“The GMs (general managers) responded to 33 different questions about the best teams, players, coaches and offseason moves. General managers were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to that particular question, rather than all 30 GMs,” wrote Schuhmann

Since 2008, Spoelstra has been calling the shots for the Heat, where he back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013 thanks to Miami’s former Big 3 in LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

As an assistant coach, from 1997 to 2008, the 50-year-old Fil-Am tactician also copped another title with the Heat as Wade earned the Finals MVP in 2006.

In the 2019-20 bubble season, the two-time NBA champion coach guided Miami for its first finals appearance in six years, this time with the help of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Herro among others. But the Heat lost to the James-led Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6.

Other results in the survey indicated that the Lakers are likely to repeat the NBA title with 81 percent, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks for another Most Valuable Player and Best Defensive Player honors, and LaMello Ball of the Charlotte Hornets winning the Rookie of the Year award.

The best starting positions go to Stephen Curry of the Warriors (point guard), James Harden of the Houston Rockets (shooting guard), James (small forward), Antetokounmpo (power forward), and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets (center). 

 
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