erik-spoelstra
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Thursday , Dec , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Norris Cole, the ‘MVP’, gives Spoelstra options

Fans chanted “MVP!” as Cole went to the free-throw line with 9.3 seconds left and the game already won. He swished both attempts to cement his storybook home debut. Cole scored 20 points, shooting 8 of 16 from the field, to go along with four rebounds and four assists. “I guess that’s some hard work paying off,” Cole said. “It was one of those nights where LeBron [James] and Dwyane [Wade] kept finding me and just kept knocking it down.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Heat fans, slow your roll.

Norris Cole will make a very nice player, however, he’s only had one strong game in the NBA and it’s premature to declare him a star.

If the rookie can solidify the point guard spot, the Miami Heat will be even stronger then thought.

Consider that Cole will provide Erik Spoelstra with options if Mario Chalmers struggles, which would allow LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to play off the ball. Of course, Cole has also shown he’s capable of playing off the ball with James and Wade.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

The Most Hated Coach In The NBA: Erik Spoelstra
Friday , Aug , 05 , 2011 Paul Eide

The Most Hated Coach In The NBA: Erik Spoelstra

Why does everyone hate him so much? Is it because LeBron shoulder checked him and he did nothing, proving to some that he is in fact just a figurehead? Or is it because he is devoid of any basketball pedigree and is in fact a regular human, whereas a coach/GM/legend like Pat Riley seems like a superhero?

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Wednesday , Jun , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Is Pat Riley ‘crying wolf’ about coaching Miami?

‘No, I’m not going to do that.’ He paused, adding, ‘It doesn’t mean I don’t have the fire. But we’ve got a great young coach here.’ While Riley would not discuss specifics about Spoelstra’s coaching future, he said, ;Definitely we’re going to bring Erik back. As far as any long-term type of situation, that has not been discussed.’

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Does anyone believe The Oil Slick?

Today, Pat The Oil Slick Riley told the media he won't swap the executive suite for the bench. His days as coach of the Heat are apparently finished.

This is tough to believe. Correction: it's impossible. Riley is the coach who cried wolf.

Not long ago, Riley put a Brutus-like knife into the back of Stan Van Gundy. After months of claiming ‘Stan was his Man’, Riley fired his friend, prodigy, and long-time assistant because he wanted to steer the star-studded Heat.

To be fair, Riley delivered. With the Hall of Famer on the sideline, the Heat won the 2006 championship.

There are too many similarities to 2006 believe Riley's recent claims, though. Erik Spoelstra is supposedly Riley’s guy -like Van Gundy in 2006. The Heat are loaded with superstars -like 2006. And expectations are huge -like 2006.

Then there’s Riley’s personality. He loves the spotlight. All year, he sat in the stands, looked into the TV cameras, and reminded everyone who runs the Heat.

Of course, Riley is the lead executive. But why sit in the stands? Why undercut Spoelstra, the coach you selected?  Why subject Spoelstra -a loyal, hardworking, and decent assistant coach- to such scrutiny?

The answer says much about Riley. And his return to the sideline can't be ruled out.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Jun , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mavericks take game six, win NBA Title

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's official. The Dallas Mavericks are NBA champions.

The Mavs' won game six of the NBA Finals and, as a result, the Larry O'Brien trophy with balanced play, masterful three-point shooting, and offensive rebounding in the fourth quarter.

The storylines are endless: Future Hall of Famers Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki get their rings; owner Mark Cuban really has a reason to smirk; Jason Terry's offensive explosion was reminiscent of Vinnie Johnson.

Plain and simple, the Mavericks were the better team.

The questions will continue for the Miami Heat. For instance, who will Executive Pat Riley sign to support the 'Three Kings'? And can the Heat afford the 'Three Kings' if the new Collective Bargaining Agreement changes the NBA's financial landscape? 

Is Erik Spoelstra the coach to lead LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to a championship? If not, will 'Oil Slick' Riley stab Spoelstra in the back like Stan Van Gundy and return to the sideline?

These questions will be answered in the future. In the meantime, click the link for video highlights of game six, and get at us with thoughts on the Mavericks winning the championship. 

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

2011 Eastern Finals – Bulls vs. Heat – Sh*t is real
Wednesday , May , 18 , 2011 J.N.

2011 Eastern Finals – Bulls vs. Heat – Sh*t is real

Game 1 is in the books. The Chicago Bulls woke up a lot of critics, 103-82. Led by Derrick Rose's 28 points and 6 assists, his performance was fine considering that he out dueled Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Both men did not even dial in 20 points, but Chris Bosh poured in 30 points. Miami's supporting cast could not get anything going as usual. However, the talk of the night belongs to Taj Gibson's dunks. One was on Dwyane Wade. The other one, which was a nasty put back, probably destroyed a planet somewhere. Lawd have mercy, things got nasty. Heat fans and critics were shocked. Don't be. They have been doing the business all season.

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Tuesday , Apr , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Heat flex defensive muscle in game-two win over 76ers

James scored 29 points, Bosh had his second straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Miami took a 2-0 series lead with a 94-73 victory over the abysmally shooting 76ers -- who managed their second-lowest playoff scoring total in the last 56 years -- on Monday night.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: All season, we’ve focused on what they aren’t. Perhaps we should focus on what they are: a defensive juggernaut –especially, on the perimeter.

On Monday night, the Miami Heat easily defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in game two of their first round series. They did this by playing airtight, stingy defense.

Consider the numbers:

•    The 76ers made one half-court basket in the opening quarter, and shot just 26% from the floor in the first half.

•    Only one starter reached double-figures, Jrue Holiday had 12 points.

•    Doug Collins’ squad ended up with a paltry 74 points.

The Heat’s ability to get-stops shouldn't surprise. Even when they were struggling with a 9-8 mark early on, the Heat had the makings of a fabulous defensive squad.

There are two keys to their success. First, the Heat is athletic on the perimeter. See LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Both can lock-up their checks, while playing the passing lanes.Second, Coach Erik Spoelstra rewards his players with offensive freedom -if they follow his scheme in their own end.

And this formula will be the key to the Heat advancing deep into the playoffs.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Mar , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Erik Spoelstra wants a mulligan on ‘Cry-Gate’ comment

What is one thing you would go back and do over this season? Was it the crying comment to the media after the game?

“I wouldn’t have said it [the players were crying after the Chicago Bulls lose]. I mean the players…we don’t have a problem with it because everybody has been in a situation where their words have been taken out of context. In a strange way we’ve all been through this together and everybody in something where they have tried to say something to the team that has been taken out of context and it strengthened us. I brought it up to the team the next day and there wasn’t any broken trust. You know you’re in front of the media three times a day eventually something you’re going to say is probably not going to have the meaning you would have expected. I wouldn’t have said it if I had a do over just so I would eliminate one more distraction, but my point about it was the guys do care. I think it is great that we have some incredible, incredibly competitive, self-willed guys in this locker room, but this means a lot more to them, their profession.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Erik Spoelstra is in front of the press several times a day. Being the sideline boss of the high profile Miami Heat means every sentence, word, and syllable is dissected.

To be fair, Spoelstra has done a solid job with the press. He won’t, however, get a mulligan on his ‘Cry-Gate’ blunder after the heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Bulls.

And he won’t get a mulligan on the season if the Heat falls short of expectations. 2011 will be all she wrote for Spoelstra.

So the only thing that matters is winning. Not now. Not two weeks from now, but in June during the NBA Finals.

To keep his job, Spoelstra’s Heat must qualify for the championship series and impress the old guy with slicked back hair who conveniently sits near the team’s bench during games.

That’s right: Pat Riley. That Hall of Fame sideline boss turned executive, who never met a camera he didn’t like.

If the Heat falters, ‘Riles’ could fire Spoelstra and step behind the bench himself. The more likely scenario is he hires another coach, so he can still act as the grand puppet-master of South Beach.

It would seem the press isn’t the only hassle Spoelstra is facing. Riley's string pulling is also a problem.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Mar , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Would a lockout push Rivers from Celtics to Heat?

Celtics fans may have one reason to root for a lockout. A delay in the start of the season might actually work to the team's advantage in retaining a prized free agent -- head coach Doc Rivers.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: On the one hand, a lockout may help the Boston Celtics re-sign their brilliant coach Glen ‘Doc’ Rivers.

A work stoppage would let Rivers spend additional time in Florida with his children, who are competitive athletes. The hope is he would take the extra time to get refreshed and refocused, and ink another one-year contract with the Celtics.

The key word is hope.

On the other hand, a lockout may hurt the Celtics’ ability to keep Rivers. Suppose there’s a prolonged work stoppage. Kevin Garnett and/or Ray Allen could retire. Yes, The Big Ticket and Jesus Shuttlesworth could cash their 501K and call it a career.

Would Rivers return to a Celtics squad without Garnett and/or Allen?

After all, Rivers has his money. And he seems awfully content relaxing with family in and around Florida.

This could also be a ploy. Rivers has often been linked to the Miami Heat, especially since South Beach’s current coach Erik ‘Cry-Gate’ Spoelstra seems overwhelmed.

Suppose the Heat fall short of expectations. As much as he loves the spotlight, oil-slick GM Pat Riley probably won’t leave the executive suite for the sideline.

The Heat needs a coach for the long term –like Rivers. So expect Riley to give Rivers, a master at handling superstars, a blank cheque. And Rivers would have to choose between the aging Celtics and the superstar-laden Heat.

And the Heat’s offer would be tough to turn down.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Feb , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kendrick Perkins and Doc Rivers to Miami?

According to two league sources, Perkins has already turned down a Celtics offer that is bound by the CBA’s current restrictions — a contract extension worth slightly less than $30 million over four years, which reflects the currently mandated contract limits of a 20-percent increase and a four-year maximum. Perkins, represented by agent Arn Tellem, has opted to wait until he is an unrestricted free agent, when even in an unpredictable market he has a chance of commanding far more.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: On the one hand, Kendrick Perkins is making a business decision. On the other hand, that business decision could take him from the Boston Celtics and put him with, say, the Miami Heat.

Reports indicate the rugged five-man rejected the Celtics four-year, $30 million contract offer because it reflected the standard 20% raise as mandated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Even with the league’s financial landscape bound to change with a new CBA and a potential work stoppage looming, Perkins stands to earn more as an unrestricted free agent.

Will he be making that extra paper with the Celtics, though?

Every team needs a defensive anchor, including the star-studded Heat. Perkins would clog the middle for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, while relieving Chris Bosh of his defensive anchor duties.

However, the tipping point could be Coach Doc Rivers. Rivers and Perkins have a good relationship, which could continue down south.

Rivers has always wanted to return to Florida to be near family. In fact, he nearly quit the green-and-white after the 2010 Finals and essentially operates on a series of one year contracts.

If the Heat fails to win the 2011 championship, Coach Erik Spoelstra will be replaced, and the personable Rivers would be the top candidate for the gig. And he could use his relationship with Perkins to lure him to South Beach.

Yes, the business of basketball works in funny ways. And it could see Perkins and Rivers together with the rival Heat next season.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Thursday , Nov , 25 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘Van Gundy situation’ shows Jackson toying with Heat and Magic

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy took exception to Phil Jackson's recent comments about Pat Riley returning to coach the Heat.
 
"Phil has no idea what the Van Gundy situation was because, even though he coaches in our league, he certainly had no insight or knowledge of that," Van Gundy said.

"So an analogy he'd make to my situation would be totally useless because he doesn't have any clue what the situation was in that case."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: He killed two birds with one stone.

Phil Jackson, the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, believes Miami Heat executive Pat Riley will soon replace Erik Spoelstra behind the bench -just like he did with Stan Van Gundy a few years ago.

This is classic Zen-Master.

Jackson is known for mind games. He’s clearly toying with Spoelstra, Riley, and the Heat, as well as Van Gundy and the Orlando Magic.

After all, the Lakers are two-time defending champions. The Heat, though struggling, is expected to contend. The Magic were 2009 Eastern Conference champions.

So Jackson is trying to get a rise out of the competition. Publicly, the Heat had no response, while Van Gundy, as usual, was only too happy to tee off via the media.

Today, Jackson scored a small win. However, the real battle will come next spring during the 2011 playoffs.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thought? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Saturday , Oct , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Riley wants Rivers to coach Bosh, LeBron, and Wade

Heat president Pat Riley has Celtics coach Doc Rivers at the top of his list of potential candidates to replace Erik Spoelstra should he decide to replace the young coach.

Rivers thought about leaving Boston to spend time with his family this summer and doesn't want to discuss his future.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s no surprise Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra is on shaky ground.

The Heat signed Three Kings Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade to win championships today, and can’t wait for a young coach like Spoelstra to continue developing.

If Spoelstra isn’t up to the task, he’ll be gone. No ifs, ands, or buts.

The surprising part is that Miami executive Pat Riley is considering hiring someone other than Pat Riley to coach the star-studded Heat.

After all, The Oil Slick may sit in the owner’s suite and not the sideline, but he still considers himself a star.

Like Bosh, James, and Wade, he loves the spotlight. He craves it. Always has since he, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the Showtime Lakers took over the NBA in the 1980s.

So the expectation was that Riles would ‘Stan Van Gundy’ Spoelstra by planting a knife in his back for some trivial infraction and name himself bench-boss just in time for the Heat to win an NBA Title.

Hopefully, the Doc Rivers rumor is Riley’s way of admitting he’s done coaching. His final two seasons in Miami were disastrous; the players hated the five-hour practices, which resembled life at a work camp.

Rivers would be perfect for the Heat. He’s personable, yet demanding. He clicks with superstars. He has a championship. And Miami is close to his family home in Florida.

Problem is, Rivers is with the Boston Celtics. And maybe Riley is intentionally eyeing an unattainable coach, so he can justify his little comeback.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Saturday , Sep , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Erik Spoelstra undecided on who starts with James, Wade, and Bosh

James, Wade and Chris Bosh are the only set starters. ``I do want to make a point of being open minded going into camp,'' Spoelstra said. ``LeBron and Dwyane will be handling the ball quite often. Mario and Carlos will be handling the ball quite often. Mike Miller has a great skill set to be able to handle the ball. Whether LeBron starts [at point guard] or not, is not a high priority right now. I want to get into training camp and get a better feel for this team.''

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Three Kings run the show. Everybody else gets in where they fit in.

This is Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra’s philosophy before training camp starts in two weeks.  Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade will star; everybody else is interchangeable.

The Heat – after their summer overhaul - is a new team. Chemistry must develop. And teammates must have a chance to forge relationships on and off court.

Why would Spoelstra box himself in by naming his other two starters now?

He, instead, stated the obvious: LeBron and Wade will serve as primary ball handlers. Both will see time at point guard, while Bosh will establish a presence down low.

There are a few other givens. Shooters Eddie House and Mike Miller will figure into the mix to prevent defences from double-teaming Bosh, James, and Wade. A platoon of bigs will man the center spot, allowing ‘CB4’ to play power forward.

Miami will go as far as their Three Kings will take them, but the role players must also perform. And those role players will have to emerge.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.