t’s nearly a decade ago since Pat Riley stepped down from his position as the Head Coach of the Miami Heat. At the time he held the record for the most wins with the franchise, but now Erik Spoelstra has overtaken him after overseeing a 455th victory; when the Miami Heat managed to put the LA Clippers to the sword, beating them 90-85 at home last time out. Spoelstra is now one of only two currently active coaches to surpass 450 wins, with San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich well ahead with 1,169 under his belt.
Pat Riley had actually handpicked Erik Spoelstra to be his replacement as Head Coach of the Heat, after feeling he was the right man to take them forward into a new era; and to build on the work he had put in. Spoelstra actually already had plenty of years of service under his belt with the franchise, after serving as both the video coordinator and assistant coach. Spoelstra always refers to Riley as his mentor, and it seems only fitting that the 47 year old went on to break the former head coach’s win record.
Riley now serves as Miami Heat’s president, and the victory which saw Spoelstra become the franchises’ record win holder was a bit of a throwback to the days when Riley was in charge. It was a tense and at times ugly affair as Miami only managed to shoot 37.8 percent from the field. In a way this was a great tribute to the then coach and now president in a game that he would have really appreciated when he was at the helm.
Many people regard Spoelstra as one of the finest coaches in the league and he’s now into his 10th season as head coach. His career record currently stands at 455-296 and from 2011-2014 he oversaw four straight NBA Finals appearances, winning the title in both 2012 and 2013. At this time he had superstars such as LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade in his ranks; but even since a key man LeBron James left, Spoelstra has still managed to keep on finding that winning formula, with the Heat remaining consistently competitive over the years.
As things stand, the Washington Wizards are seen as favourites to secure the Southeast Division title this season but Miami Heat are seen as their nearest rivals by reputable sports betting sites like Unibet. The Heat are currently priced at 3/1 to be crown Southeast Division champions and are probably the only side who can really cause the Wizards any problems at all. In terms of being the overall winner, Miami are out at 100/1 with plenty more sides seen as more realistic winners.
Miami Heat enjoyed great success under Pat Riley and many people felt that his achievements, especially in terms of his wins record, would be very hard to replicate. His mentoring of Erik Spoelstra has proven to be a great success and when Riley stepped into the role of president, he saw his protégé go on to surpass expectations; claiming a record amount of wins in the process.