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Coaching Observations

A quick observation about the coaching matchup for the NBA Finals:

Erik Spoelstra, who could be the most successful young coach in the history of the NBA, is doing a superlative job with the Miami Heat. Like his counterpart for the San Antonio Spurs, Gregg Popovich, Erik is not afraid to trust his bench. However, there is one big difference between the two coaches and that is the fact that Gregg is not reluctant to have any of his star players on the bench, even at critical stages of the game.

There are very few head coaches who are willing to put their star players on the bench, especially down the stretch in the fourth quarter.

I vividly remember Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals in 1975 when I was stinking up the court on the offensive end.  My coach and former teammate, Al Attles, didn't hesitate to take me out of the game late in the third quarter. In fact, he took me out for a good portion of the fourth quarter, as my teammates played exceptionally well and got us back in the game, holding the Chicago Bulls scoreless for several minutes. If not for our bench, in particular our backup center George Johnson, we would never have had the opportunity to become NBA Champions.

So, for me, it will be interesting to see if the bench of either the Spurs or the Heat has a significant impact on the outcome of this series.