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Erik Spoelstra Misses First Game of Head Coaching Career vs. Pacers

For the first time in his head coaching career, Erik Spoelstra won’t be coaching a game for the Miami Heat.

The 47-year-old Spoelstra is missing Miami’s Sunday afternoon contest with Indiana Pacers due to the impending birth of his first child, which will be a boy.

Miami said Spoelstra was not present at Heat practice due to illness on Saturday in Indiana, but those who knew that his wife was due to have a baby soon could’ve connected the dots to the deeper meaning behind that public relations statement. He conducted a film session with Heat players before flying back home to Miami once he received news about his wife Nikki’s water breaking, per the Miami Herald.

In Spoelstra’s place, assistant coach Dan Craig will coach the Heat. Craig is currently in his 15th season with the Heat, and has served as the team’s G-League head coach, and summer league coach on separate occasions. The result of today’s game will go on Spoelstra’s record still.

It was previously mentioned above that this is the first time in his career that Spoelstra won’t be coaching for the Heat, making it the first time in 908 games when you factor in the playoffs. Out of those 908 games, Spoelstra has technically missed some time, but only 5.6 seconds. He was ejected in a January 2012 game against the Los Angeles Clippers with that exact time left in the game. It is still the only ejection for Spoelstra in his coaching career, but he is among the league leaders in technical fouls among coaches this season.

The Heat are expected to get Spoelstra back for their next game on Tuesday in Miami when they play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers on TNT. It’ll be Dwyane Wade‘s first time playing the Cavaliers since they traded him back to Miami ahead of the trading deadline in Miami.

Spoelstra has an all-time regular season win-loss record of 479 wins and 316 losses across 795 games. He passed Pat Riley for the most wins in franchise history among coaches earlier this season when the Heat beat the Clippers on December 16 90-85.

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