Given Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s youth and relative lack of experience, people questioned whether he was the right person to coach the star-studded Miami Heat ever since the day of the “Decision.” Every time the Heat went through any sort of tough stretch this season, Spoelstra’s job security was questioned, and those questions are getting asked again after Miami’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
However, according to Boston.com’s Gary Washburn, Spoelstra’s job appears safe for at least one more season:
Miami team sources said Erik Spoelstra’s job was never in jeopardy this season and he will get an opportunity to make another NBA title run next year.
Even though Spoelstra’s lineup choices in the Finals left something to be desired, his overall performance this season was strong, and it’s probably a good thing for Miami that he’s sticking around. Spoelstra is a wizard with Xs and Os, and his defensive system turned what could have been a good defensive team in Miami into a great one throughout the regular season and the first 19 games of the playoffs. And while his lineup choices against Dallas were lacking, his re-insertion of Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller into the rotation against the Bulls may have saved that series for Miami.
Spoelstra’s job security may be questioned, especially considering the fact that his coaching mentor also happens to be his immediate boss, but the bottom line is that Spoelstra may have swept the NBA Finals if his best player had shown up for the fourth quarter of Game 2 or any of Game 4. That’s not sufficient grounds to fire a coach after one year with a completely overhauled roster and a conference championship to show for it.
While the rampant speculation continues about whether the Celtics may or may not trade for a superstar, Danny Ainge is filling out his roster with veterans. Sean Deveney of the Sporting News reports that they’ve agreed to a one-year minimum deal with guard Gerald Green:
Green was originally drafted by the Celtics in 2005 at No. 18 overall, and after bouncing around different teams and overseas in the first few years of his career, he’s carved out a nice niche for himself in the NBA as a scoring guard off the bench. He played 69 games for the Heat last season after two solid years in Phoenix.
The NBA has unveiled its top 100 plays of the 2015-16 season, and there’s no mystery as to what were the top two.
No. 2: Stephen Curry‘s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime against the Thunder in Oklahoma City during the season.
No. 1: “The Block” by LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in the final stretch of Game 7 of the Finals.
There’s plenty more, too, and if you have 25 minutes to kill, you can and should watch all of them above.
Tyler Zeller is one of the few restricted free agents left on the market who could make an actual impact next season, and on Saturday morning, he’s come off the board. Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald reports that the fourth-year big man has agreed to a deal to stay with the Celtics. It’s for two years and $16 million, with the second season being a team option.
Zeller isn’t a starter, but he’s a nice rotation big man, especially at that price. He can play minutes off the bench for Boston, and his contract is also very movable with the second season being unguaranteed. He played just 11.8 minutes per game last season, but averaged 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
The Toronto Raptors were good last season, second best team in the East. That means the guys on Inside the NBA on TNT had to talk about them.
Which means Charles Barkley had to say “Jonas Valanciunas” a lot. Which is high comedy. While a lot of people struggle to say his name the guy is a solid NBA center who, with a little practice, you can say (and spell) his name pretty easily.
This comes from a YouTube user, via Reddit, with a hat tip to Eye on Basketball.