NBA Miami Heat

Miami Heat: Predicting the Final 15-Man Roster

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Miami Heat: Predicting the Final 15-Man Roster

Miami Heat
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat go into the 2013-2014 season as the two-time defending NBA Champions. They bring back the majority of their roster from a year ago, but head into camp with a few battles left. After using their amnesty clause on Mike Miller and adding Juwan Howard as an assistant coach, they had two or three roster spots available.

The starting five will remain the same this year. Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Udonis Haslem and Chris Bosh will be the lineup when they open the season against the Chicago Bulls. The first four guys coming off the bench will be point guard Norris Cole, shooting guard Ray Allen, forward Shane Battier and center Chris Andersen. Forwards James Jones and Rashard Lewis return from last year, as does center Joel Anthony. Those 12 players are all but guaranteed to make the roster, along with free-agent signing Greg Oden.

The Heat signed Oden, the former no. 1 overall pick, as a low-risk and high-reward free agent. He hasn't played a game since 2009 due to injuries, but brings the size that the Heat desperately need. The plan is to bring him along slowly and get him in basketball shape for the playoffs when they will run into Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez and Joakim Noah. Oden may be inactive to begin the season, but he will remain on the roster all year barring an injury.

The last two roster spots come down to seven guys. Michael Beasley, Jarvis Varnado, Roger Mason Jr., Justin Hamilton, Eric Griffin, Charlie Westbrook and Larry Drew will all go to camp hoping to make the team. Drew, Westbrook and Griffin are all long shots to make the team due to the makeup of the roster. Beasley and Mason both have the most NBA experience out of the group, but Varnado and Hamilton have the size the Heat need.

These 15 guys should make the opening night roster for the Miami Heat.

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Point Guards

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For the past two seasons, the Miami Heat have only carried two point guards on the roster. Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers again will be the only two point guards when the season opens.

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Shooting Guards

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The Miami Heat have two Hall-of-Famers at shooting guard. Both Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen will get the bulk of the minutes at the two-guard spot. Look for Roger Mason Jr. to make the roster out of camp.

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Small Forwards

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LeBron James, Shane Battier, James Jones and Michael Beasley will all make the team as small forwards. With the position-less offense the Heat plays, all of them could see time at either shooting guard or power forward also.

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Power Forwards

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Udonis Haslem will be the starter at power forward when the season begins, and Rashard Lewis will be the backup. You will also see LeBron James, Shane Battier, Michael Beasley and Chris Bosh play power forward during the season.

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Bosh will be the starting center and Chris Andersen will be the primary backup. They will also play on the court at the same time with Bosh sliding over to the power forward position. Greg Oden and Joel Anthony will both see limited minutes during the first half of the season.