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Throughout his career, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has been either called underrated or overlooked. 

It shows each time the Coach of the Year voting takes place after the season. Despite winning two championships and appearing in five NBA Final, Spoelstra has never won the award. He often never was given credit because he led stacked teams led by LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. 

That may change this season. An ESPN panel of league writers recently predicted Spoelstra to take home the honor. He received four of the 16 votes. 

Here is the complete poll: 

Erik Spoelstra 4

Tyronn Lue 3

Steve Nash 2

Monty Williams 2

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Nate McMillan 2 

Quin Snyder 1 

Michael Malone 1

James Borrego 1

This could be the year Spoelstra finally gets serious consideration because the makeup of the Heat's roster. They signed Kyle Lowry, Markieff Morris and P.J. Tucker in the offseason. The three solid veterans should pair well with the younger nucleus that includes center Bam Adebayo, guard Tyler Herro and forwards Jimmy Butler and Duncan Robinson. 

If the Heat can finish among the top three teams in the Eastern Conference, it could result in Spoelstra winning the award for the first time. The Heat open the regular season Thursday against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, the same team they were swept by in the first round of the playoffs. 

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