BY THE NUMBERS: Heat’s Spoelstra getting things done in the NBA Playoffs


Posted at Sep 29 2020 11:32 AM

Based on postseason numbers alone, Erik Spoelstra is on a level topped only by two other contemporaries -- the Spurs' Gregg Popovich and the Warriors' Steve Kerr. AFP

Erik Spoelstra continues to prove that not only is he one of the most brilliant minds in the NBA but he's also one of the most productive head coaches in the league, too.

Based on his postseason numbers alone, the Miami Heat shot caller is on a level is topped only by two other contemporaries -- the San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich and the Golden State Warriors' Steve Kerr. 

With the Heat back in the NBA Finals, Spoelstra is now tied for fifth all-time on most appearances by a head coach in a title series. 

Most NBA Finals appearances
1 Phil Jackson 13 (Los Angeles Lakers 7, Chicago Bulls 6) 
2 Red Auerbach 11 (Boston Celtics 10, Washington Capitols 1)
3 Pat Riley 9 (Lakers 7, Miami Heat 1, New York Knicks 1)
4 Gregg Popovich 6 (All with the San Antonio Spurs)
  John Kundla 6 (All with the Minneapolis Lakers)
  Steve Kerr 5 (All with the Golden State Warriors)
  KC Jones 5 (Celtics 4, Washington Bullets 1)

With 84 career postseason victories, Spoelstra is currently 8th place all time, trailing only Popovich (170) and Doc Rivers (91) among coaches who were active in the 2019-20 season. 

Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers parted ways on Monday.

Among coaches with at least 100 playoff games, Spoelstra is 4th all-time in winning percentage (83 wins, 50 losses, 62.4%). 

The Warriors’ Kerr (105 games, 73.3%) tops the list.

On the all-time championships list, Spoelstra is currently tied with 7 other coaches with a pair of Larry O’Brien trophies. 

A victory against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers would get him up to No. 6 on that list, tied with Kerr with 3 championships.

(All stats courtesy of