The red-hot miami heat are erik spoelstra’s coaching opus _ vice sports

The NBA is a players’ league. Paleo diet research The baseline necessity for sustained success is talent. Lose weight fast plan This isn’t complicated, nor is it breaking news: If Team A’s players are better than Team B’s players, then more often than not, Team A will be fine.

So when an NBA team starts routinely beating its opponents despite an obvious talent disadvantage, it’s only natural that we—and I don’t just mean fans and writers—look beyond the guys on court for answers.

Exercise netflix Which brings us to the Miami Heat, and their head coach, Erik Spoelstra.

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Coaches such as Mike D’Antoni, Scott Brooks, Gregg Popovich, Brad Stevens, Steve Kerr, and Quin Snyder have all dealt with basketball-related trauma in some form or another since opening night. Weight loss meal prep grocery list All have risen above it by sticking to their respective philosophies and principles. How to lose excess water weight overnight Just as important, all have at least one All-Star on their roster, a lighthouse to guide them through their darkest hour.

Spoelstra has no such luxury, and he arguably has endured worse roster luck than any of those other coaches. 3 exercises Still, the Heat have played as well as anyone for the past few months—and much of the credit goes to their coach.

Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside are gifted players, but a quick glance at the rest of Miami’s roster would lead you to assume, based on past performance and a lack of recognizable names, that this team is Brooklyn Nets-level bad. Paleo diet video And that’s without mentioning any of the aforementioned misfortune.

According to information provided to VICE Sports by Jeff Stotts, a certified athletic trainer who operates a health-related database at, Miami has lost a whopping 264 man-games due to injury or illness this season—more than any other team in the NBA, and 49 games ahead of the second-place Philadelphia 76ers.

Unsurprisingly, the Heat started the season terribly, losing 11 of their first 41 games while being outscored by 4.4 points per 100 possessions and boasting the league’s second-worst offense. Best diet while breastfeeding After five straight trips to the playoffs, including four Finals appearances and two championships, Miami seemed headed toward a blatant and necessary tank job. Exercise dips President Pat Riley publicly acknowledged the franchise’s dire situation in December, as helpful bodies such as Justise Winslow and Josh McRoberts kept crumbling around him.

The Heat reached their nadir on January 13, when the Milwaukee Bucks beat them by eight points. Diet plan calculator Since then, however, they’ve been (ahem) red-hot, winning 20 of their next 24 games. Diet food chart for weight loss They’ve defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers twice—once with LeBron James—the Golden State Warriors, and the Houston Rockets twice. Healthy diet for weight loss after pregnancy No team has more wins, fewer losses, or a higher three-point percentage since January 17th; only the San Antonio Spurs and Warriors have a superior defense.

Dragic and Whiteside are good but not great players that Spoelstra has coached up this year. Lose belly fat diet and workout Photo by Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

How is this possible? Miami’s rise didn’t coincide with an uptick in good health, and Spoelstra didn’t have any veterans to lean on through the storm—guys like Luol Deng, Joe Johnson, Dwyane Wade, or even Amar’e Stoudemire—as he did in recent years. Paleo diet plan pdf Instead, the 46-year-old coach turned to journeymen, undrafted rookies, and seemingly borderline NBA prospects.

Look at the roster: Wayne Ellington (seven teams in eight seasons), James Johnson (five teams in eight seasons), Dion Waiters (three teams in five seasons), and Luke Babbitt (three teams in seven seasons) are all in their first seasons with the Heat, and all are playing the best basketball of their careers. Top 10 diet plans Meanwhile, total unknowns Rodney McGruder, Willie Reed, and Okaro White are also contributing at a high level. Weight loss dietitian Nobody expected that, because nobody ever should.

Chris Bosh’s unexpected blood clots forced Spoelstra to adapt on the fly last year, but this season he has deployed small lineups from Day 1, modifying his players’ traditional responsibilities and putting opposing defenses in a bind. Exercise benefits mood The moves have worked wonders.

“I’m a big fan of what Coach Spoelstra does,” Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said before a game against Miami earlier this season. Weight loss 33 “I think that he has got a lot of interesting wrinkles right now with how they’re trying to play.”

One of those wrinkles? Playing Johnson at the four or five, giving him the ball, and having him run inverted pick-and-rolls with Dragic setting the screen:

It all goes according to plan—Johnson has Tyler Johnson wide open in the weakside corner and can also kick it back to Dragic wide open behind him—until the actual pass. A healthy diet to lose weight But this type of creativity is what makes Spoelstra one of the best.

“A lot of teams will do it out of a time-out or very, very irregularly, and these guys have made it a huge part of their system, and it’s just unique,” Stevens said about the Heat. Paleo apple pie “Maybe it’s the next step in small ball that [Spoelstra is] onto, but I think at the end of the day it puts you in a predicament when the bigs are handling the ball and the guards are setting the picks. Fastest way to lose weight in a day Sometimes they have two picks up top and it’s a heck of a deal, it’s a tough deal to guard.”

It would be silly to give Spoelstra all of the credit for the Heat’s resurgence—Miami has knocked down a league-leading 49.1 percent of “wide open” threes since their 13-game winning streak began back in the middle of January—but he deserves praise for figuring out different ways to accentuate his player’s strengths and camouflage their weaknesses.

Take Babbitt. Diet plan to lose weight fast without exercise His outside shot is the only reason he’s in the NBA. Weight loss plans for women So what does Spoelstra do? He lets him shoot a bunch of outside shots: 79.9 percent of Babbitt’s points are from behind the three-point line, which currently leads the league and is nearly double what it was last year on the New Orleans Pelicans.

Similarly, Spoelstra has given Dragic and Waiters—two attack-minded guards—a green light to go to the rim whenever they see a crack in the defense, a freedom that has placed the Heat atop the league in drives per game and passes from said drives.

On defense, Miami has allowed the fewest three-point attempts and makes from beyond the arc since January 17th. Exercise stress test interpretation That’s huge, and it requires an immense amount of energy from perimeter players who have to scramble all over the court to run shooters off the line. Losing weight blog The Heat also have the the third best transition defense in the league this season. Weight loss success stories 2016 These are both signs of a focused, disciplined, and well-coached basketball team.

Less quantifiably, Spoelstra is responsible for instilling and communicating Miami’s organizational culture. Paleo diet constipation Johnson likely would not have shed 30 pounds without the high standards Spoelstra holds his players to, or the harsh practices he puts them through. Weight loss lexington ky Lose that much weight, however, and you too can make plays like this on a consistent basis (just kidding, no you can’t):

Currently, the Heat are only 0.5 games behind the seven-seed Detroit Pistons and eight-seed Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Low carb diet menu pdf And even if Miami doesn’t make the postseason, it’s a testament to Spoelstra’s command and skill that the team’s current leaders in plus/minus are on one-year contracts—in other words, they’re guys who should ostensibly be looking to pad their individual stats in search of a hefty deal this summer, as opposed to making the right pass and exerting maximum energy on defense. The best diet app More remarkably, Dragic and Hassan Whiteside spent months on the trade block, yet from the outside looking in, Miami’s locker room has remained copacetic.

The Heat used to be a superstar destination. How to reduce water weight overnight Now, they subsidize reclamation projects. Weight loss yoga video They’ve shifted from titans to underdogs, from Big Three to who?, and Spoelstra has shown he can succeed either way. Exercise plank position He’s a master motivator, and sets the tone for a roster that could’ve easily crumbled before New Year’s Day. Diet plan to gain weight and muscle His job is not to take the long view and tank for a lottery pick. Exercise nausea It’s to improve and excel with the players he’s given.

Thanks to the job Spoelstra has done, Miami can all but kiss its chance to land a franchise-altering talent in June’s draft goodbye. Best diet for fat loss bodybuilding Instead, the team’s rebuild will shift to improving through free agency, and making wise use of the cap flexibility Miami looks to have for the foreseeable future. Exercise moves for arms With a coach like Spoelstra, someone who clearly knows how to win regardless of the circumstances, it’s hard to think the Heat will stay far removed from championship contention for very long.

Coach of the Year is one of the NBA’s sillier annual awards, but Spoelstra deserves all the votes.

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