Erik Spoelstra named Coach of the Month after Heat’s stellar February

Erik Spoelstra helped the Miami Heat to an 8-3 record in February as they continued their climb into playoff contention.
Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

MIAMI — The NBA announced Wednesday that Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for February. This marks the seventh time Spoelstra has earned the monthly honor, the most in team history, and the 15th time a Heat coach has won the award.

Spoelstra earned the accolades after guiding the Heat to an 8-3 (.727) record during February, their highest winning percentage for any month since February of 2014 (.900). Miami averaged 110.3 points per game in February, the second-highest scoring month in team history, only their 110.9 average in January 1992 is higher. The Heat posted five double-figure wins, including three against current playoff teams, and started the month winning their first five games to extend their winning streak to 13-straight dating back to January 17, marking the third-longest winning streak in franchise history. Additionally, they scored at least 100 points in 10-of-11 games, including the first 10 consecutive to begin the month to give them a team-record 16-straight 100-point scoring games going back to January 21.

Spoelstra has led the Heat to one of the best turnarounds in team history after starting the season 11-30 and nine and a half games out of the playoffs, Miami has gone on to win 16 of their last 19 games and climb to within just two games back from the final postseason spot. His defense ranks as one of the best fourth quarter defenses in the league this season, holding opponents to 23.8 points and 41.7 percent shooting in the final quarter, both the fewest in the NBA. Miami is also holding opponents to just 8.8 fast break points at home this season, also the best in the NBA. On the offense side of the ball, the Heat have eight different players averaging double-figures this season, the most in the NBA, and also have eight different players that have connected on at least 40 made three-point field goals, tying for the second-most in the league. Spoelstra has currently recorded 426 regular season career wins, the second-most in team history, just 28 short from tying Pat Riley for the most ever. He previously recorded his 400th career coaching victory earlier this season, and in just his 641st game, he became the seventh-fastest head coach to earn his 400th win in NBA history.