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Beasley Warms Up to a Bench Role

What do Michael Beasley and his former AAU coach have in common? They will both be paid a large sum of money to sit on the bench.

That's the latest word out of Heat circles, anyway.

"We'll have to wait and see how he progresses," coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday. "Right now, he's in a good rhythm offensively. And defensively, there are some things he needs to be more aware of."

Like the fact that he's expected to play defense, I imagine. That's a good thing to be aware of.

But he's figuring it out, and it's my opinion that he needs to be in the starting lineup, not because he was the No. 2 pick but because he's an immensely talented No. 2 pick who is already the second-best scorer on his team. And don't try to convince me that Beasley will be better utilized as the scoring focus of the second unit - if the Heat's hamstrung starting 5 has the team down 10 by the time he takes the court, what does it matter?

But it's hard to make a case for Beasley to start when he's talking himself into a sixth-man role:

"As far as me starting, I guess I can, but that's not my decision," he said. "I kind of like coming off the bench."

Do me a favor, Beasly, and don't like coming off the bench. Maybe take a shine to starting, playing 35 minutes and putting up double-doubles. I believe that's the expectation.

In other rotation-related news:

The Post's Chris Perkins suggests that Chris Quinn and Mark Blount will start at point guard and center, respectively. For lack of better options, of course.

The Herald, meanwhile, buys into the three-forward paradigm introduced yesterday by Ira Winderman, and drops this gem:

Until Jamaal Magloire's broken hand heals, the frontcourt mix of (Shawn) Marion, Beasley and Udonis Haslem might also be the team's best rebounding combination.

I'm thinking that may be the case after Magloire's hand heals, too.