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Miami Heat: Stan Van Gundy Redux? How Long Until Pat Riley Fires Erik Spoelstra?

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Miami Heat: Stan Van Gundy Redux? How Long Until Pat Riley Fires Erik Spoelstra?

As the final seconds ticked away on the Miami Heat's 112-107 loss to the Boston Celtics, there was a noteworthy moment when Pat Riley was seen in the stands.

He did not look happy and just before time expired, he shoved several folded papers into the inside pocket of his blazer jacket.

Considering the team had just reached its fourth loss in a mere nine games, that moment has opened up the floodgates of speculation that the papers contained "a list of potential coaching replacements," "notes for Pat Riley for when he takes over the team as coach," or "the amount of mistakes that he counted made by current coach Erik Spoelstra during the game."

Of course these theories are largely baseless, but the prospect of Spoelstra being fired if the Heat continue to underachieve is very real.

One need only look at the long overdue decision by Speolstra to place Zydrunas Ilgauskas in the starting lineup against the Toronto Raptors to see his attempt to stem the tide of his team's slide, perhaps mindful of the consequences of continued inconsistency by his team.

But how much time will Riley really give Spoelstra before he is given the pink slip?

To answer that question: I first considered a former Miami Heat coach whose team was not meeting expectations.

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