LeBron James at point guard? Dwyane Wade? Miami is thinking about it.

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Thumbnail image for wade.jpgMario Chalmers may be the official Miami Heat starting point guard come Oct. 26, but as we’ve said before his role will not be the same as Rajon Rondo’s or Deron Williams or most other point guards.

That’s because both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade like to create with the ball in their hands. They are better at it than just about anyone. So you give them the rock. Which got Miami thinking, according to a tweet from the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman

Pat Riley says Chalmers likely ready for camp, but not Butler. Hints strongly at casting Wade or LeBron at point guard.

It’s an option: Wade at the one, Mike Miller at the two, LeBron at the three, Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony starting up front. A pretty versatile starting lineup, one that complements each other in a lot of ways.

Of course, there is the defensive question — who guards the small, quick point guards that are a part of many teams now? Wade is a very good perimeter defender but in this hand check-free league he will struggle some with — and more importantly risk foul trouble — guarding the Rondo, Darren Collison, Jameer Nelson, Raymond Felton type guys (and that’s just a few from the Eastern Conference). It comes back to the same reality for Miami whoever starts at the point — in today’s NBA you need someone to protect the rim inside, and Anthony or others need to step up into that role.

Miami’s situation may be a matchup thing, while the starters may not change the rotations and who finishes games could change depending on what the other team throws at them.

Defense is going to be the key for the Heat, and we’ve started taking extensive looks at it already.

One other tweet from Winderman on what will be another media topic with the Heat regardless of the reality on the ground — the job security of Erik Spoelstra.

As for Spoelstra, Riley insists there are no coaching issues.  “I think you’ve got to let the coach coach.” Says no “helicopter” presence.

PBT Extra: Disciplined Celtics highlight bad habits of Milwaukee Bucks

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Giannis Antetokounmpo has been every bit the top five NBA player in the postseason — 32.5 points per game on 63.2 percent shooting, plus with 11 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

Yet the Bucks are down 0-2 to Boston.

The Celtics have had a strong series from Al Horford and Terry Rozier, but the real difference is in the discipline this team has shown all season — Boston knows who it is. Clearly, Milwaukee does not. They turn the ball over too much and make too many mistakes.

I get into all of that in this PBT Extra, and I wonder if that’s something the Bucks can really turn around mid-playoffs.

Ettore Messina to coach Spurs in Game 3 following death of Gregg Popovich’s wife

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s wife, Erin, died yesterday.

That sad news was felt throughout the NBA, and it obviously affects San Antonio most closely. That includes for tonight’s Game 3 against the Warriors.

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:

Ettore Messina was a longtime head coach in Europe. The Spurs lead assistant also took over for a few regular-season games Popovich missed. So, making – rather than advising – coaching decisions won’t be a brand new challenge to Messina.

But down 2-0 to defending-champion Golden State is a tough place to make an NBA playoff debut.

On the bright side, there will be no pressure. Not only has San Antonio been outclassed the first two games of the series, focus is rightly on the Popovich family. A win would be a pleasant surprise and help Messina – who’s up for the Hornets job – in his pursuit of a head-coaching position. A loss would be quickly forgotten with more important matters at hand.

To that end, hopefully the time away allows Popovich the space he needs to grieve. That matters far more than a basketball game.

Report: Knicks to interview Kenny Smith for head-coaching job

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The Knicks are casting a wide net in their coaching search.

It’ll apparently include a familiar, though surprising, name.

ESPN:

TNT analyst Kenny Smith will interview for the New York Knicks’ head-coaching job on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

A quality organization, the Rockets, interviewed Smith (in 2016, before hiring Mike D’Antoni). So, this isn’t proof of the Knicks’ oddball thinking. (There are plenty of better examples, if you wish).

Steve Kerr opened the door for former players to go straight from TV to being an NBA head coach without having any coaching experience. He’s been a smash hit with the Warriors.

But Kerr was also the Suns’ general manager before Golden State hired him. Smith has no front-office experience.

So, it’s tough to judge Smith, whose role on television is more to entertain than inform (though he does both). He’ll have to really wow in his interview to get the job.

But at least he has that opportunity.

Pacers coach Nate McMillan slips and falls while arguing call (video)

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Nate McMillan slipped up in his handling of Victor Oladipo‘s early fouls during the Pacers’ Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers last night.

Then, the Indiana coach literally slipped while arguing that LeBron James should have been called for offensively fouling Lance Stephenson.