Brad Stevens pitted against one wise, tough coach in Erik Spoelstra
After going down to Miami once again last night and coming away down 1-3 in the series, I still feel the Celtics have the more-talented team. But taking away nothing from Brad Stevens, he is pitted against a coach in Erik Spoelstra that has three Championships under his belt - one as assistant coach of the Heat and two more as Head Coach.
Spoelstra started his career with Miami as their video coordinator in 1995 and worked his way up to assistant, and finally Head Coach in 2008. In 2010, when Lebron James and Chris Bosh were brought in to join Dwayne Wade, expectations were justifiably high, but a 9-8 start to the season raised murmurs of replacing Erik as Head Coach (per Wikipedia).
Chris Bosh intimated that the team was being worked too hard and that the players would rather "chill". LeBron James famously bumped into Spoelstra on his way to the bench during a timeout in a game.
But Miami boss, Pat Riley, knew Spoelstra was his guy, and that was it.. Pat was having none of it. Erik remained in his position and his teams racked up two consecutive Titles in 2012 and 2013.
Spoelstra has done virtually every task for Miami as video coordinator, scout, assistant coach and Head Coach. There is value to that. And he remains a favorite with Riley for sound reasons, one of them being the Asian-American coach's unwavering work ethic which he transmits to his troops.
Wisdom is the combination of knowledge, logic and life experience, and Erik has that in spades. And he uses it to successfully (thus far) counter strategies of his present opposing coach, Brad Stevens.
This series is not over for the Boston Celtics by any means, but they can take some cues from this man who remains a very effective coach in what is now regarded by many as a player's League. He apparently survived criticism from Chris Bosh and disrespect from The King amid rumblings of being fired to end up with another shot at an NBA Title. He has paid his dues and he has emerged stronger for it. It shows in the play of his team.