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Erik Spoelstra Prepares to Fling Open the Classroom Doors

Bright-eyed rookie coach Erik Spoelstra is sitting anxiously in his new desk, his teacher's editions in a neat stack in front of him. After a decade of studying, it's almost here!



In an interview with the Herald's Barry Jackson today, Spoelstra talks about his responsibilities as a coach (be nice to you), your responsibilities as his player (play defense, no weed on school grounds), and the procedure for using the hall pass. After the jump, it's time to get excited!

1. The point guard job is an open competition between Marcus Banks, Mario Chalmers and Chris Quinn.

As it should be. None of those guys are good enough to be handed the job or bad enough that they have no chance of winning it.

Spoelstra also cites Banks' improvement, though it's kind of lukewarm praise and I can't imagine him saying that Banks has hit a total wall in his development. So take that for what it's worth.

And he says he's stressing defense first in a point guard, then the ability to initiate the offense. Sounds about right.

2. Spoelstra is comfortable with Udonis Haslem at center for short periods of time but doesn't see it as a sustainable lineup.

He might change his mind once Jamaal Magloire and Mark Blount trot out there. My feelings about Joel Anthony have been made clear, but he creates the same size issue. I'm kind of tired of talking about this one - the Heat doesn't have a legit starting center, so it has to go without one. Put your best five out there unless Haslem is getting totally devoured in the post.

3. Spoelstra sees Michael Beasley as a power forward "right now" and isn't sure if he'll start or back up Haslem.

I think Beasley needs to be in the lineup from day one. He'll make mistakes, but as long as he's sharing the ball and is somewhat aware of his surroundings defensively, he should get reps with Dwyane Wade and the starters. Spoelstra adds that Shawn Marion is interchangeable at the forward spots; the flexibility Marion creates in Beasley's development is an underrated benefit of keeping the dude around for the whole year, and perhaps longer.

4. Spoelstra will stress defense like Riley but will push the action offensively a little more.

Good to hear. This is a team built to run, especially if Banks wins the starting point job. And running would minimize the disadvantage of a small lineup, assuming Beasley and Marion help out significantly on the boards.

5. Spoelstra wants Wade to "get back to being a defensive stopper in the fourth quarter."

That's kind of on you, coach. Get him sufficient rest early in games and make sure he's ready to play Olympic-style in the fourth.

6. Spoelstra has a script for the first few days of camp.

That's adorable. And he says he's "not married to it." ADORABLE!

7. Spoelstra spent some of his summer visiting players at home and taking them out to eat.

What's up, player's coach. Spoelstra needs to be careful here, especially with our two knucklehead rookies. Don't be afraid to use that backhand when necessary.