Meet the Miami Heat 15 Man Roster of The 2012-13 Season
The Miami Heat Open The 2012-13 Season At Home
The vast majority of the Heat team that won the NBA championship last season is back for another round. In total 12 players from that team are returning. The three new faces for Miami this time around, Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, and Josh Harrellson bring a hunger to win along with perimeter shooting, a favorite weapon for the team.
Most importantly for Miami, the ‘Big 3’ of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are coming into the season healthy. Wade in particular looks to be completely back from off season knee surgery and ready to answer critics who declared the beginning of his decline during last season’s playoffs.
Adding to the ‘Big 3’ the Heat role players look deeper and smarter than last season. However, the basic questions regarding any NBA team still apply to them.
How will their rotation work?
Does each player know their role?
Who among the team has improved the most from last season?
It will be how these questions are answered that will determine if Miami will be able to repeat as NBA champions.
Now it’s time to get to know what each player will bring to the table and what challenges they will face as the season goes on.
It’s time to meet the 15 men that make up the 2012-13 Miami Heat roster.
It will be hard to try to replicate the year that James has had in 2012. Not only is he coming into the season as a defending champion, James is also the reigning MVP and an Olympic gold medal winner.
Even with that success James is as hungry as ever. One champioship is not enough to satisfy the man.
What James will bring into the season is his ascension as Miami's unquestioned leader. He know that the Heat's chances at repeating as champions rest with him and he has become ready for the task over his tenure in Miami.
James will bring a free mind into the season. Winning a title has taken a lot of venom from his critics and that gives him room to breathe. It will be interesting to see how that translates on the court.
Wade has been considered an underdog for most of his career. This season is no different.
When he scored only five points in Game 3 of last season's Eastern Conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers many declared was Wade's decline had started. Those cries held steady even as he played more like himself afterwards.
Even when he had off season knee surgery the cries continued if not intensified. For a player like Wade that in only fuel.
What Wade will bring into the season is a chip on his shoulder. He looked to be completely back in the preseason and is redy to quiet those who said he was on his way down. The question will be if he can stay healthy the whole year given his playing style.
While James is Miami's best player, Bosh is their most important in terms of setting up the team's rotation. That won't change this season even as Bosh moves into a position he fought to stay way from almost his entire career, a NBA center.
Bosh is the often forgotten member of the 'Big 3' in the eyes of fans and media. That had allowed his importance to fly off the radar until he went down to injury in Game 1 of the conference semifinals against the Pacers. Now that importance is more known and it will be shown in a new angle as he takes his position at the 5.
What Bosh will bring this season is a desire to excel in his new role as center. The formula worked well in the Finals, but he will show it can work throughout the year. What Bosh will give up in size when being matched up with other centers he will gain in quickness on the court. His inproving three-point shot will be a point of interest as well.
The attributes that Shane Battier bring to the court can't be measured by statistics. It's one on the reasons he is known as the 'No Stats All Star' to many in the media.
Those intangibles were key in the Heat winning a championship, especially when Battier was thrusted into the startting lineup in the playoffs. In taking the task of guarding bigger forwards so that James could move more freely he showed how far he would go to help his team. It's looking like Battier will be called on to do the same this time around as well.
What Battier will bring this season is what he always brings, his perimeter shooting and intelligence. The key for him is to see if he is noticed by opposing scouts this time around.
Every great team has a player that hold the 'head scratcher' moniker. For the Heat that player is Mario Chalmers.
Known for his Jeckel-and-Hyde playing style, Chalmers can both satisfy and infuriate fans in the same game. Sometimes he does that in the same play. This hasn't dented Chalmers's self confidence at all as his genuine belief that he is Miami's best player has been noted by teammates and media. That has led to some great performances, most notably in Game 4 of the Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
What Chalmers will bring into this season is the bravado he's always had. Knowing that James is the actual point man on the team frees up Chalmers to score from the perimeter and in the paint. What will be interesting in he'll produce more cheers than groans from fans.
What happens when one puts teams up a gifted passer with arguably the greatest shooter in NBA history? For Allen he hopes the combination of him and James will lead to opposing teams losing their will.
Allen didn't come to Miami searching for a ring. He already won a ring with the Boston Celtics in 2008. What he did come to the Heat for is something that doesn't show up on the stat sheet, respect. He saw how players like James and Wade were personally recruiting him and then saw how Boston were already moving on from him even as they offered more money than Miami to stay.
What Allen brings into the season is, like Wade, a chip on his shoulder. He is motivated to prove Boston wrong about how they thought about him and he'll get a chance right away on Opening Night.
Lewis has not had good fortune on his side for a couple of years.
Injuries and a large contract have been the marks of his tenure with the Washington Wizards. Those factors ultimately led him to be scuttled away in a trade and to be bought out by the New Orleans Hornets. Going from that to the defending champions is both a stroke of luck and an opportunity for Lewis. What brought him to Miami was his perimeter shooting, but he has shown a willingness to play inside on both ends of the floor during the preseason. That can be a hidden gem for the Heat.
What Lewis will bring this into the season is a desire to show that he isn't washed up. While his shooting is still not completely back his inside play can pay dividends.
Norris Cole knows that as a first round draft pick more expectations are placed on him. He lived up to the challenge most of last season before hitting a wall late.
While that wall could be attributed as a side effect of the NBA lockout only giving teams a little more than a week of training camp, Cole isn't using it as an excuse. This year it was the consensus that he was the most improved player on the Heat at camp. Cole needs to be as his playing time will likely be cut by Allen's presence. He is also aware of the fabled 'sophomore slump' that some players experience.
Waht Cole is bringing into this season is a smarter player than last. A full training camp has given him more grasp of the offense. That will be key to Cole being in the regular rotation.
The fact that Mike Miller is still standing upright is surprising unto itself.
Miller was signed in 2010 to be the Miami's main three-point threat. Injuries to his thumbs and his back have instead made him into almost a bench warmer. Seeing him run up and down the court was a sight many didn't want to watch as it was evident he was in pain. Even as Miller essentially had the game of his life during Game 5 of the Finals it was a melancholy sight. Many even urged him to retire after the game going out on top. Had he needed back surgery Miller would have retired. He didn't & it showed in the preseason as he moved without wincing in agony.
What Miller brings into the season is that fact that he's starting it healthy. This is the first time in his Heat tenure that come Opening Night he'll be in uniform so it's like getting him from free agency.
If the heart and soul of the Heat can be personified, it would be in Udonis Haslem.
Along with Wade, Haslem is the longest tenured player in Miami. During that time he has become the man the Heat call on when they need toughness on the court. The last two season have seen his playing time decline as injuries took its toll. Last season was essentially written off for Haslem due to the lockout taking away recovery time. Injuries hit him again in camp as it limited his preseason play. That still doesn't take away the sense of toughness that he brings to Miami.
What Haslem brings into the season is that toughness in Miami's front line. The team will need it as the front line is considered the main weakness of the Heat.
Joel Anthony is the enigma of the Heat.
He has played well enough to land in the starting lineup, but not enough to keep him there. The main reason is his lack of a consistent offense. While being an asset on defense with his shot blocking, that lack of offense has let opponents to virtually write him off. Anthony has shown offensive improvement each year in Miami, but wasn't able to show it this preseason due to injury. His spot on the rotation is now in flux as Bosh has moved to the center position.
What Anthony will bring into the season is defensive specialty. His chances of starting have dsappeared thanks to Bosh, which may turn out to be the biggest benefit for Anthony.
Luxury is a good thing to have depending of what it is. James Jones know he is one for the Heat.
Before the 'Big 3' came together Jones was one of Miami's primary perimeter threats. That role has steadily been reduced with the additions of Miller in 2010, Battier in 2011, and Allen in 2012. That hasn't soured his spirit as he knows how to take advantage of the oportunities given to him. Jones has the respect of the locker room for his work ethic along with his position in the player's union. There was talk in the offseason about him retiring to attend Harvard Business School, but he is back.
What Jones will bring into the season is the benefit of him being a luxury. His presence alone shows opponents the depth Miami has at the perimeter.
When the Heat drafted Dexter Pittman it was with the idea of him being the center of the future. That hasn't exactly worked out.
It hasn't been due to Pittman not trying. He has done everything Miami has asked of him when it comes to conditioning. That hasn't translated to growth in Pittman's skills fast enough as he hasn't been able to land in the Heat's regular rotation. He knows this and is planning to change that this season. In the preseason Pittman showed steady improvement on both ends of the floor, especially when it comes to fouling. His play was enough for him to shake off the bubble player label.
What Pittman will bring into the season is a desire to fulfill his potential. He won't be able to take Bosh's spot in the starting lineup, but he can become his part of the regular rotation.
A center that has a longe range shot is not something one sees every day. For Harrellson that niche earned him a roster spot.
Harrellson doesn't come to the Heat completely raw. In his rookie season with the New York Knicks he became a backup to Amar'e Stoudemire and even started in his place when he was injured. He used that time on the floor to show off his ability to shoot from beyond the arc. The Heat noticed and brought Harrellson in for workouts and eventually camp. That offense set him apart from the rest on the centers vying for a spot on the roster. He also showed a desire to rebound and clean up shots at the rim in the preseason.
What Harrellson will bring into the season is an offense that no other big man aside from Bosh has in Miami. He'll be able to spread the floor with his three point shooting and possibly free up the paint for James and Wade.
Last season at camp Terrel Harris surprised enough people in Miami to earn a roster spot over Eddie House. This season at camp he was almost at the other side of that coin.
Not much was shown from Harris last season due to lack of playing time. When he did step on the court he impressed. He was able to show enough for the Heat to guarantee his rookie contract for the whole year and to be on the active roster in the playoffs. He also excelled in the Summer League for Miami. Harris did have a higher hill to climb at this camp with the addition of Allen. Adding to that was the preseason play of Garrett Temple, which made him Harris's primary competition for a roster spot. In the end Harris was able to stay in Miami due to him already knowing the system.
What Harris will bring into the season is a smarter player. He knows that playing time will be slim, but he can be a floor general if needed.