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Heat take care of Raptors, Erik Spoelstra earns All-Star head coaching spot

Feb 3, 2013, 6:32 PM EDT

Miami Heat's coach Spoelstra directs his players against Toronto Raptors during their NBA basketball game in Miami

Erik Spoelstra locked up the honor of coaching the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star game, thanks to the Heat’s 100-85 victory over the Raptors on Sunday.

The Heat clinched the conference’s best record through Feb. 3 with the win, which was the deadline the league had in place for making the coaching selection. Miami finished with a 30-14 record that put them in first place in the East, a half-game ahead of the New York Knicks.

The bright side for Knicks coach Mike Woodson is that now he can keep those vacation plans.

As for the game Miami won to clinch the honor for Spoelstra, the first half was a struggle, and it looked as though it might have been another one of those road games that the Heat have had trouble competing in all season long. Despite owning the top record in the conference, the Heat came into this one with just a .500 road record of 11-11 on the season.

The defensive intensity that has eluded the Heat for much of the season was on display in the second half, as Miami outscored Toronto 56-35 after the break, while holding the Raptors to 29.7 percent shooting.

Chris Bosh torched his former team for 22 of his 28 points after the intermission, and LeBron James and Dwyane Wade finished with 30 and 23, respectively.

Rudy Gay had another strong performance in his second game with his new team, this time getting the start and finishing with a team-high 29 points. Miami’s defense got to him too in the second half, however, where he was able to make just three of his 11 shots over the game’s final two periods.

  1. miamatt - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME

  2. philyeagles5 - Feb 3, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    i could coach this team.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:26 AM

      Know how you know you’re a great coach? When the criticisms hurled at you are the same ones hurled at Phil Jackson, John Wooden. Red Auerbach. Pat Riley. Etc

  3. pudgalvin - Feb 3, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Earns is an awfully strong word here.

  4. mazblast - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Does anyone really remember who “coached” the NBA All-star game? Other than possibly setting the player rotation, what precisely does an NBA All-Star coach do?

  5. kavika6 - Feb 3, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    A “puppet” coaching an all-star game. What a joke. Go West!

  6. sampulls - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    I know nothing about basketball and I could probably coach this team deep into the playoffs.

    • hodaghunter - Feb 4, 2013 at 1:18 AM

      I think you grossly underestimate the type of leadership and communication skills required to make three diva players work together and develop an offensive game plan that caters to these players.
      Not to mention commanding enough respect that the players will obey the rotation and when it is time to take a rest.

    • miamatt - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      There are plenty of ways to royally screw up *see Lakers* a team that will “definitely” win the NBA championship.

  7. sampulls - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Sorry, right time, right place is what happened to Erik. We all know it.

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