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Spoelstra Named Coach of The Month

Apr 1 2010 4:50PM

MIAMI, 4/1 – The NBA has announced that Miami HEAT Head Coach Erik Spoelstra was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for March. This marks the first time Spoelstra has earned the monthly honor and the ninth time a HEAT coach has won the award. The Phoenix Suns’ Alvin Gentry was named the NBA’s Western Conference Coach of the Month. 

Spoelstra earned the accolades after guiding the HEAT to a 12-3 (.800) record during March. The 12 wins are the most by Miami in any month since March of 2006, tying for the second most in the league. The 12 wins and .800 winning percentage also tied as the third best mark in Miami HEAT franchise history. Miami entered the month having recorded a .483 winning percentage for the season and its .800 winning percentage for the month marked an improvement of .317, the largest increase in the NBA. Additionally, Miami’s .800 road winning percentage is Miami’s best in any month since December of 2004. The HEAT went 8-2 at home and 4-1 on the road including wins over the Lakers, Hawks, Bobcats, Bucks, Raptors and Bulls twice. Seven of Miami’s 12 March victories were by double-figures and the HEAT finished 3-1 in games decided by five points-or-less. 

Spoelstra’s defensive game plan set the tone during the month as the HEAT limited opponents to 90.4 points per game and only 41.6 percent shooting from the field, both league bests. The HEAT held the opposition to under 80 points three times and under 90 points on seven occasions while also holding opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field in seven match-ups. Among the signature victories was a road back-to-back set that started at Chicago on March 25 in which Miami held the Bulls to only 32.9 percent shooting from the floor as the HEAT led by as many as 39 points before closing out the contest with the 103-74 win and then traveling to Milwaukee for a March 26 tip-off, holding the Bucks to only 31.5 percent from the field and 15.0 percent from three-point range to secure the 87-74 victory. 

Miami closed out the month on a six-game winning streak, the largest under Spoelstra, including four-straight wins on the road. The HEAT entered the month out of playoff position as the ninth seed and ended the month as the sixth seed, currently only a half game out of the fifth spot. 

The Miami HEAT is proud to welcome Assist Card as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2009-10 HEAT season.