Too good to let go

K.C. Johnson

Chicago Tribune

Erik Spoelstra is as linked to Pat Riley as winning. So, yes, even if the Heat go 0-for-2 with the Big Three, Spoelstra will be back as coach.

The better question is: Who would Riley get to replace Spoelstra? Riley knows as much as anyone that this roster still remains somewhat flawed. Frankly, that the Heat have overcome their glaring holes at center and point guard speak almost as much to Spoelstra's aptitude as the prodigious talents of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Spoelstra has not only instituted a tough, defensive-minded personality to overcome the Heat's roster flaws but also handled superstars effectively. Spoelstra is one of the game's better coaches and harder workers. He'll be back.

kcjohnson@tribune.com

Yes, he'd deserve the ax

Shannon Owens

Orlando Sentinel

I'd have no problems with Erik Spoelstra getting the ax if the Heat fail to capture the NBA title.

Why? Because the only things standing between the Heat and the Larry O'Brien Trophy is air and opportunity.

Just on talent alone, the Heat have the experience and healthy players to reach the NBA Finals again.

A part of me feels sympathy for Spoelstra, who has faced a great deal of scrutiny given the fact he has three superstars on his team in Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

But just like a card game, if Spoelstra loses the title with a winning hand, then you can only blame the player, not the game.

sowens@tribune.com

More victims if they lose

Dave Hyde

Sun Sentinel

Assuming no crippling injury or unseen oddity, there are two ways it probably breaks for the Heat this spring: 1) They don't win the title and change comes. The Big Three gets broken up, the roster undergoes an overhaul and Erik Spoelstra is replaced as coach; 2) They win the title to complete the first, most difficult step of their era. The Big Three become the team they've discussed with Spoelstra crowned with them in the coming years.