Heat’s Erik Spoelstra named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January
MIAMI — The NBA announced Thursday that Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January. This marks the eighth time Spoelstra has earned the monthly honor, the most in team history, and the 16th time a Heat coach has won the award.
Spoelstra earned the accolades after guiding the Heat to a 10-5 (.667) record during January, tying the highest winning percentage in the Eastern Conference for the month. Miami opened January with six consecutive wins, starting the month as the East’s seventh seed and closed the month as the fourth seed. Miami’s 10 wins in the month are their most in January since going 12-5 in 2012. The Heat posted a 5-1 record at home and played nine games on the road, tying the second-most road contests in the NBA, going 5-4 over that span. Miami held opponents to 30.3 percent from three-point range and 43 percent from the field, both the second-lowest percentages in the NBA, and limited the opposition to 97.8 points per game, the third-lowest average in January.
Spoelstra led Miami to a win vs. Detroit on January 3 in a game in which Miami connected on 17 three-point field goals, the most against Detroit in Heat history. On January 7 against the visiting Utah Jazz, Miami closed the game on an 11-4 run to earn the one-point, 103-102, victory. He then defeated Toronto, 90-89, on January 9, handing them just their second home loss of the season while recording consecutive one-point wins, marking as just the second time in team history Miami has recorded consecutive victories by only one point. On the second night of a back-to-back road set on January 10, he defeated Indiana, snapping the Pacers 10-game home win streak against Miami. He went on to earn wins against Milwaukee and Charlotte twice each in the month while completing the season-series sweep against the Hornets on January 27. Miami played five games against current Eastern Conference playoff teams in the month, going 4-1 in those contests.