Too good to let go
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.
Yes, he'd deserve the ax
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.
More victims if they lose
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.
No excuses, as Spoelstra keeps saying. They are the clear favorite to come out of the East. I think they'll win a good Finals against the survivor from the West. But it's not just the coach with a lot at stake. It's the Big Three as well.
He'd deserve another year
Los Angeles Times
It's back to video coordinating for Eric Spoelstra if the Heat don't win a title in year two of the Big Three.
No, in all seriousness, Spoelstra probably deserves one more year, provided the Heat don't melt before the Finals. Miami is still not the greatest team ever assembled, with its players not named LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh still leaving something to be desired.
Spoelstra has done a decent job of putting his team in position to win a title for a second consecutive season. Can he be blamed if James goes poof in the fourth quarters of big games? I say give the coach another chance.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun