When looking adversity in the eye, no other candidate is renowned for vanquishing trials such as Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra. There is a certain familiarity with the grandest stage, as the two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Champion Head Coach approaches the Game 7 matchup with the Boston Celtics as another hurdle persistent in overcoming—and overcome had he.
Sparking an early 3-0 lead, the underdog Miami Heat saw themselves on the brink of another finals berth, yet heartstricken by a vigorous Boston Celtics roster settling with a do-or-die standoff at the TD Garden—after losing two games at the resident Kaseya Center.
The short-handed Miami Heat looked to their All-Star coach for direction, procuring an 8-man rotation with Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo unavailable due to injuries. All eyes were on Himmy (Jimmy) Butler, as the culmination of the conference finals saw the 12-year veteran go off for 28-markers, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in 43 minutes on the floor. Forward-Caleb Martin contributed a 26-point double-double, playing the most minutes of any Heat cager with 44—catalytic en route to the franchise’s seventh NBA Finals appearance.
Coming down to the wire, the NBA Head Coach of 14 seasons exhaled a sigh of relief seeing his eight seeded Miami Heat succeed on the opposition’s floor. Initially shaken by the unforeseeable outcome in the previous contest, Spoelstra echoed his thoughts to the press, expressing his trust in his team’s structure and approach to the game.
Considering no NBA team has previously prevailed down 3-0 in a playoff series, Spo dabbled on conditioning his team to accept the outcome moving towards Game 7.
“…That could puncture a team’s spirit (in reference to Game 6), but instead that just drove us to more resolve to try to get the job done,” Spoelstra addressed the media post-game.
Under the Filipino-American’s tutelage, South Beach saw back-to-back Larry O’Briens fortified through the notorious big three of Wade, Bosh, and James in ‘12-’13. Witnessing the departure of their hall-of-fame caliber cagers, Spoelstra has secured four straight playoff appearances for the Heat, utilizing an unconventional convergence of youth and experience en route to reclaiming the throne.