Heat confirm they extended Erik Spoelstra’s contract last summer

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Erik Spoelstra is in his ninth season as the Miami Heat head coach, making him the second longest tenured coach in the NBA (behind only Gregg Popovich). That’s a surprising stat, but the Heat are wise to have kept Spoelstra around that long — he’s a smart, quality coach who gets the most out of his players.

Which is why the Heat were looking to offer Spoelstra a contract extension, a report that came up in late June. The deal did get done, the Heat confirmed to Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.

No formal announcement was ever made by the team, but upon media requests this week the Heat confirmed Spoelstra, the second-longest tenured coach in the league behind the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, had indeed been extended beyond this season sometime after Riley’s press conference over the summer….

“I would like to thank the Arison’s and Pat for their continued confidence in me and my staff and are humbled in their trust in me as head coach,” Spoelstra said Friday through the team. “It has been an incredible 22 years being part of the Miami Heat family and we will look to continue our goal of winning NBA championships.”

The Heat have struggled this season at 10-23, but that is about roster construction and not the coach. After LeBron James returned to Cleveland, Pat Riley tried to rebuild on the fly around Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but they are both gone — one to Chicago, one due to medical issues — and that leaves a team in need of a rebuild. Spoelstra should be around for that rebuild.

The terms of the deal were not made public.

Grizzlies’ James Ennis fouls out then hits half-court shot (video)

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Against the Pacers last night, James Ennis missed all three of his 3-point attempts… that counted. And he makes this one after fouling out?

Mike Conley more than picked up the slack to lead the Grizzlies to victory.

Pelicans’ Dante Cunningham jumps on scorer’s table, Anthony Davis jumps on him (video)

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The Pelicans are effectively out of the playoff race, but Dante Cunningham and Anthony Davis are still competing — even if it looks a little silly.

That tone and a big game from DeMarcus Cousins (29 points, 16 rebounds, six assists) led to a 121-118 win over the Mavericks.

Goran Dragic puts alley-oop pass through rim (video)

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Goran Dragic is very good at alley-oops.

Too good.

With a “shot” like that falling, the Heat trounced the Knicks, 105-88.

Hawks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. kneed in the groin while defending 76ers (video)

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Since trading for him, the Hawks have gotten Tim Hardaway Jr. to buy in defensively.

After this help defense on 76ers center Richaun Holmes cost him dearly, I wouldn’t blame Hardaway if he gave up on the endeavor entirely.