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Pat Riley has Doc at the top of the list.

Oct 9, 2010, 10:11 AM EDT

riversheat

See, now, if this is true, it is neither cool nor fair, nor unexpected.

We already told you about the Yahoo! Sports post that indicates Doc might want to hang with the Celtics for a while. But in the middle of that post is another tasty nugget for you. From the inevitable Adrian Wojnarowski:

Rivers could pick his contender, name his price.

And that could’ve come with the Miami Heat, with a team president, Pat Riley, whom sources say has Rivers at the top of his list should he ever choose to replace young coach Erik Spoelstra.

If Riley has even uttered the name of another coach, he shouldn’t have done it within any context for it to get out. Erick Spoelstra is already fighting constant questions about the possibility of Riley taking over as he did in 2006. To put him in a position to deal with more uncertainty in a season with such high expectations only feeds into a system of setting him up to fail.

For his part, I can tell you Spoelstra doesn’t give the vibe of a guy worried about his gig. He gives the impression of a guy who loathes the questions he gets, as he cuts off nearly every reporter, but then, that’s Spo. He actually seemed more relaxed this year than he has in previous years with lower expectations but less talent. As for Rivers, the question’s pretty simple. What do you get from Rivers?

The easy answer is rings, right? Experience. But Rivers’ trademark he put on the Celtics has been motivation, something that’s nebulous and hard to translate. He’s never been considered an elite X’s and O’s coach (though he’s come a long way and has put in a few brilliant playoff series), and has been able to rely on the talent of the Big 3 to mask his biggest weakness: managing rotations. It’s hard to see how he’d be the perfect fit for the Heat. That is, unless they come up short in the playoffs and need a swift kick in the backside. Wait and see, just as Riley appears to be doing.

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