Everyone’s A Critic: The Spo Dilemma

Commentary

spoelstra twitching

It is so easy to be a critic on Twitter. With just a couple strokes of the keyboard or a few touches of buttons on your phone or tablet, you have fired off the hottest take east of Mauna Loa.

But as simple as it is to fire off 140 characters (or 280 characters, if you are blessed) into the abyss, there are a couple issues with using Twitter as a sounding board.

First, it is an echo chamber. Because you choose whom you follow and who can follow you, you tend to see many more opinions that align with your point of view. And secondly, there is no middle ground on Twitter. You are either unequivocally correct, OR you are the dumbest person who has ever decided to express themselves on social media.

This issue could not be more prevalent when discussing Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.

The moment you critique Spo online, you are going to hear from two rival factions very quickly. The first group of people will agree with your critique. They have a bone to pick with Spoelstra and have already decided that he needs to be fired. These individuals truly believe the best move for their favorite team is to fire the greatest coach in the history of the franchise.

Now, I am sure some of you believe that I must have made a typo, but Spo is the best coach this team has ever had. Better than Patrick James Riley. So even though I give Spo such high praise, why can’t we ever critique this man?

The second group of people will rapidly respond with jokes like #FireSpo or explain that I do not know enough to be critiquing a coach that has won two championships.

I beg to differ. I think all people can be critiqued, regardless of skill level or greatness. Criticism that is done in a constructive or positive manner can be very helpful to someone who is constantly striving to perfect his or her craft. Spo is no different.

Let me give you an example. Through the first three games, Justise Winslow has shown an excellent ability as a playmaker with the ball in his hands. He has great vision, and he has thrown some passes that have been so good that his teammates were not ready for them.

In last night’s win against the Atlanta Hawks, Winslow’s best two plays were on the fast break: One that he did all by himself and took it strong to the rack and scored, and the other, where he led Josh Richardson with a great pass to set him up for a three-point play.

So why did Winslow not initiate offense for the rest of the game? Why was he not bringing up the ball, and instead, stuck in the corner for most of the other offensive possessions?

These are questions that Spo will have to answer for the next 79 games and beyond. And it is OK, as a fan, to pose these questions.

I do not think I know more about basketball than Spo because I coached youth basketball for a short amount of time. I do, however, think we can critique our coach and be inquisitive about some of the decisions that are made.

Let us be better fans, and instead of finding ways to rip our fellow #HeatTwitter member, maybe have more nuanced discussions about our favorite little basketball team.

It is easy to be a critic, but it is much harder to try and understand where that person’s point of view derives from.

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