Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While he never gets mentioned in the conversation for coach of the year, Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra has been named as the NBA’s Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for March.
It’s the fifth time Spoelstra has been named coach of the month, which ties Heat president Pat Riley for most all-time in Miami Heat history. It’s also Spoelstra’s second Coach of the Month designation during the current season.
It’s fairly obvious why Spo was selected as coach of the month. The Miami Heat were 17-1 (.944 winning percentage) in March. It’s the most wins by any team during a single month in NBA history. Plus, the Heat won at least 12 games for two straight months for only the second time in team history.
Miami is currently on a 17-game winning streak inside the friendly confines of the AmericanAirlines Arena, which is one victory shy of the team record.
The Heat also clinched a playoff spot on March 8 and on March 18, clinched the Southeast Division championship and over the weekend clinched the number one seed in the Eastern Conference during the playoffs.
Miami sat LeBron James and Dwyane Wade Sunday against the Western Conference leading San Antonio Spurs. Still, Miami was able to win thanks to a big game from the role players and a game-winning shot from All-Star Chris Bosh.
If Miami finishes with a better overall record than the Spurs, it will clinch home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Conversely, if the Spurs win more games, they will have home court advantage through the NBA Finals.
As of Monday, Miami has a 58-15 record, while San Antonio has a 55-18 record. The closest teams to Miami in the Eastern Conference are the New York Knicks, who play in Miami on Tuesday, and the Indiana Pacers. Both teams are 11.5 games behind the Heat.
The Heat have a total of nine regular-season games this season including games at home against the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls. It’s expected that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh will have multiple games off to rest heading into the playoffs.
The Heat have won 29 of its last 30 games.