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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Eric Spoelstra on Offense and More

Excerpts from a Coaching U Live 2015 session. Spoelstra's Heat went 30-11 in the second half of this season. Coach Spoelstra began as a video intern for the Heat over twenty years ago. "You have budding stars" as video coordinators, who also do analytics and are COACHES. Video coordinators see what works and what doesn't. "If you want to be a coach, you have to be able to coach everything." 

Growth mindset. Part of the Miami Heat culture. "Continuity can win." How do you separate yourself from the pack of coaches? Spoelstra constantly challenges himself to feel uncomfortable, to seek 'the edge'. Much like John Calipari, he advocates for a breadth of influencers, but doesn't use Coach Cal's "personal board of directors" phrase. 

Free-flowing discussion...almost stream of consciousness. 

Admires the Warriors' sharing of the basketball...but notes teams constantly chase the style that works.  

Hard to match offense to "high usage" players, because it requires sacrifice. 

Discusses Celtics' late action to score...

Go to 1:47 of the video. 

Lob off curl. Spoelstra says Doc Rivers got this from watching an AAU game.

Discusses Holacracy via Zappos. How do we communicate with millennials?

Doc Rivers, "get over yourself." 

Culture. Toughness. "I'm a caretaker." Recognize sacrifice (screens, spacing, cutting away, defend more positions). Started with pay cuts. Continued with changes in "usage rate." Players played off the ball. You can't put up the same numbers with less usage. Spoelstra recognized and appreciated that directly to players. 

Truth-seeking. Truth relates to accountability. 

Gratitude. Travels to Philippines to give back (he is half Filipino). 

Diversity of ideas. Generate and test ideas. Don't let ego interfere with listening. You can maintain your ego but still embrace new ideas. "Conversation without confrontation." What messages will players take away? 

Player development. Trust is central. How do we connect? Everyone owns developing both players and coaches. 

Style of play. What fits personnel? What will your opponents try to take away? 90% of the league playing the same defense. Changed to trap pick-and-roll trying to get ball out of hand of PG and speed up others. Sacrificed rebounding for steals, transition points for HIS personnel at that time. 

Analytics. Gets a 15 page report after a game, but you can look at 3s, layups, and free throws (Rockets' shot chart)...but realize at high levels in playoffs, people force you to midrange. In an individual game (or two), guys defy the numbers. 

Offensive set:

Player and ball movement, drive opportunities, good spacing and ball reversal. Slip to the 5 can become available during the crossing action...or 3 can come off 4 looking for a shot or catch and dump down to 4...or 1/5 as spread pick-and-roll. 

Spoelstra said it often got run through. 

The reason to listen, to think, and to read is to absorb and process ideas and develop solutions to test. 

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