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Pittman moves up in rotation

The Sports Xchange

--Although sidelined by a bruised left shoulder, second-year center Dexter Pittman has moved ahead of Eddy Curry in the Heat's rotation. Coach Erik Spoelstra said it is a factor of experience in the Heat system.

"He's a little bit ahead right now because he's had a full summer with us, two training camps," he said of Pittman.

While Curry had a series of workouts with the Heat starting last spring, it wasn't until the December start of training camp that he began to work in the Heat system.

"That's part of it," Spoelstra said. "I think, again, the whole idea with us with Eddy was thinking big picture, so we're not in a rush, we're not in a panic right now. We're trying to take advantage of every opportunity to develop him and teach him our system and fast track, but you can't substitute time and practices with it. We're trying to make the most of it. He needs a little bit more time.

"This is drastically different than the system he's used to. And he was out of the league for three years, so he's made dramatic, dramatic jumps and leaps. We just want to stay patient with him."

--To James Jones, the defending champion in the 3-point contest during All-Star Game, the Heat's representative in this year's event shouldn't be an either-or decision.

Jones has yet to receive an invitation to the Feb. 25 event in Orlando, but it is mostly considered a formality.

Jones said he hopes such a berth does not come at the expense of teammate Mario Chalmers, who has been far more prolific from beyond the arc this season.

"I know I'm no Ray Allen," Jones said of the Celtics guard, "and he's no Paul Pierce, but they both did it the same year, so why not us?"

Jones got a rare playing opportunity in Tuesday's rout in Indiana, making his only shot from the field and two free throws. He did not attempt a 3-pointer.

"Our guys wanted this challenge, and we answered it, something that hadn't been done in 40 years." -- Coach Erik Spoelstra, on the Heat on Tuesday night becoming the first team to win three road games on three consecutive nights by double digits since the Milwaukee Bucks did it in 1970-71.

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