Throwing a fit, barking up the referee’s face, more looks at the shot clock than almost anybody else on the basketball court, the men and women that suit up and occupy the benches on the sidelines of the game, are the ones who see it all.
The coaches in every NBA season manage to produce something wonderful, in terms of leadership and drive. This season has been no different and amongst the list of players on everyone’s lips, there are a few coaches who’ve shone quite brightly in what has been a regular season to remember.
Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat) – Many thought their season would collapse after Chris Bosh’s illness popped up, but the 2-time championship winning coach steered his team to third in the East – a remarkable showing! Justise Winslow has been a revelation and the signing of Joe Johnson has proven to be a masterstroke. Spoelstra has managed to keep the defense strong throughout the year to make the Heat a dangerous proposition in the East. Miami are fifth in opponent’s points per game (98.4).
Steve Clifford (Charlotte Hornets) – What a turnaround it’s been for the Hornets! Another team that has relied on its defensive work ethic to register a great campaign, the Hornets were one of four teams, along with the Heat, Boston and Atlanta to finish with identical records in the East, separated later only by the tie-breaker. Kemba Walker has been superb and Clifford has used Jeremy Lin (yes, remember him?) to great effect off the bench.
He also helped his team cope in the absence of Al Jefferson who missed time due to suspension. The Hornets’ shooting has been amongst the biggest improvement; they finished seventh in 3-point shooting percentage (36.2%).
Doc Rivers (Los Angeles Clippers) – Blake Griffin decided that injury alone wasn’t enough to keep him out and managed to get himself in quite the situation with an act of stupidity that threatened to affect his Clippers team greatly. Doc though managed to make the best use of available resources, along with the staggeringly good play of Chris Paul to not just keep the Clippers relevant, but ensure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.