Can Roger Mason Jr. Provide Valuable Minutes for Miami Heat?

By Shane Phillips
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

We all know, 0r basically know, that Roger Mason Jr. should and will be the final man on the Miami Heat roster this season. The defending champs have cut the roster to 17, breaking the bad news to Jarvis Varnado, Charlie Westbrook and Larry Drew II. Next on the chopping block should be Justin Hamilton and Eric Griffin, leaving Mason Jr.

Now that the roster is nearly finalized, the next question is whether or not Mason Jr. will have any prominence in South Beach.

The veteran guard will be entering his 10th NBA season and his first with the Heat. He has had a satisfactory preseason, making an appearance in four out of the six exhibition games for Miami. His numbers are solid, averaging 8.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in under 29 minutes of play.

Mason Jr. even got to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

Without a question, Mason Jr. brings something to the table for Miami. He has shown he can rebound, score and dish, but I am not sure if it will all translate over to the regular season.

The biggest thing that he has going for him is that the Heat only have four guards on the roster (Wade, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole and Ray Allen). If any injuries were to occur, Mason Jr. can provide a bit of insurance. He could also play a role with the team if everyone stays healthy.

Honestly, it all comes down to who the Heat are up against and who Erik Spoelstra picks to play. Miami’s bench this year may be the deepest it has ever been. It will be tough for Spoelstra to pick his 12 active players each game.

I expect Mason Jr. to be on the outside looking in. He will not be one of the 12 active players when the season starts, but he will have his share of opportunities to stake his claim. It will be a competitive bench for the Heat and it will be fun to watch all the different combinations that Spoelstra throws on the court.

Shane Phillips is a Miami Heat Writer for Follow him on Twitter @Smphil01, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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