Miami Heat roster 2014-2015 season: deeper, younger – and LeBronless

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The new Miami Heat roster for the 2014-2015 season is younger, deeper, and more talented at several positions – which would make the Heat a far better team this upcoming season if not for the fact that the roster is also LeBronless. The departure of LeBron James sent shockwaves through Miami and had the potential to send the remaining roster, nearly all of whom were free agents, fleeing. But instead most of the remaining core has remained intact, with a few key upgrades. From Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on down to the Birdman and the new free agents, here’s a detailed look at the Miami Heat roster.

Dwyane Wade: He’s older, slower, and more injury prone, but D-Wade is far from done. He started seventy percent of the regular season games last season and still averaged eighteen points per game in the playoffs, a far cry from the “He sat out all year and still couldn’t do anything in the postseason” storyline portrayed by the national media. With LeBron gone, Wade becomes one of the primary scoring options for the team. And with the backcourt offense built around him again instead of defaulting to passes to James, the Heat gets to find out if he still has his shot.

Chris Bosh: He’s now the centerpiece of the Miami Heat frontcourt roster. Unless Bosh is still asked to defend centers on a nightly basis, he should be able to go back to being the scoring machine he once was in Toronto. Chris Bosh never made sense on this roster as long as LeBron was on it, but now is talents fit perfectly. Bosh will have perhaps the best offensive year of his career – but will it be enough?

Luol Deng: On the one hand Deng is a clear downgrade from LeBron James, whom he’ll be replacing in the four-spot in the starting lineup. On the other hand, he’s the most talented free agent that the Miami Heat have added to their roster in the past three years.

Josh McRoberts: The newly signed free agent likely starts at center, splitting minutes with the Birdman.

Chris Birdman Andersen: He re-signed with the Heat for roughly the same five million dollars per year that McRoberts is getting, meaning Miami sees the two as equally important. Regardless of who starts on any given night, the minutes will likely be split evenly between them.

Mario Chalmers: Heat fans won’t want to hear this, but he’s the best option on the roster for starting point guard when the season begins. Whether he keeps the job all season is a different matter entirely.

Shabazz Napier: The rookie first round draft pick could be the starting point guard by the time the season ends, but his struggles in summer camp mean he’ll likely begin the season as the third point guard on the roster.

Norris Cole: He’s one of the few pieces of trade bait the Heat have on their roster between now and December, when players like Chalmers can be traded. But Cole comes cheap (two million per year) and has plenty of long term upside.

Danny Granger: He’s too old and injury prone to be a starter, but his multi-position talents mean he could see bench minutes behind both Wade and Deng.

Ray Allen: Unlikely to remain in the Miami Heat roster, as the team has already renounced his Bird rights. He’ll either end up in Cleveland or in retirement.

Udonis Haslem: Hometown hero has re-signed with the Miami Heat, but his minutes on any given night will remain uncertain.

Shane Battier: Retired, signed with ESPN as an analyst.

James Jones: Signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James Ennis, Justin Hamilton: Both have looked sharp in summer camp and will earn at least an invite to preseason camp, with both likely making the bottom of the Miami Heat roster for the regular season.

Greg Oden, Michael Beasley: Both are still free agents. The Heat can only offer them the veteran minimum. May come down to how much interest and dollars other teams offer.

NASCAR race winner, results, standings Sprint Cup Brickyard 400 Indy

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NASCAR race at Indy Car track for Brickyard 400 sees the points leader lap the field in the standings: the Sprint Cup NASCAR racing circuit shook things up by heading to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400 race, which saw its drivers attempting to make the adjustment to lower banked corners, a longer track, and less flexible passing lanes. That made the pole position more important than usual, but in the end that didn’t matter. The race is officially named the John Wayne Walding 400 this time around, in honor of the American war hero of the same name. In the end, the results saw the best get better in the standings.

The Brickyard 400 race came as the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings are as tight as ever, but they opened up a bit today as racing veteran Jeff Gordon won the Brickyard 400 and added to his narrow lead in the standings. Kevin Harvick had won the pole position, but Gordon outpaced him. The victory gives Gordon a wider lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr and the other drivers still chasing him. John Wayne Walding fought in the Battle of Shok Valley in the Afghanistan War, and won the Crown Royal contest to have the 2014 Indy NASCAR race named after him.

With the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup series auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the books, the next race on the NASCAR schedule is the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono on August 3rd.

UFC tonight fight schedule: live TV channel start time Lawler vs Brown

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The UFC fight schedule tonight takes over San Jose, California on a Saturday night as Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown do battle in the headlining match of the evening – and this time the action is on a more prominent TV channel than many of the most recent Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts have aired on. As per usual there are a slew of undercard fights, along with various prelim fights before that, making for a long night of mixed martial arts fighting in Silicon Valley.

In addition to the Lawler vs Brown fight at the top of the UFC card tonight, several other fights are on the schedule for this evening. Daron Cruickshank takes on Jorge Masvidal while Kyle Kingsbury faces off with Patrick “Pat” Cummins. Hernari Perpetuo does battle with Tim Means, and Mike De La Torre finds himself fighting against Brian Ortega. But all eyes will be on the main fight between number five ranked Matt Brown and number one ranked Robbie Lawler (no relation to wrestling legend Jerry Lawler). The latter is putting his Ultimate Fighting Championship top ranking on the line, and the two fighters have similar career records. Lawler has twenty-three wins and ten losses, while Brown has twenty-one wins and eleven career losses. Brown has the higher accuracy and landed-per-minute ratios and is an inch taller, but Lawler has a significantly higher knockout ratio heading into tonight.

Tonight’s UFC fight schedule has a preliminary live start time of 6:00pm eastern time on TV channel FOX – that’s the main network FOX channel, not Fox Sports 1. The headlining fights including Brown vs Lawler will begin at 8:00pm eastern time on the same TV channel, lasting until 10:00pm.

Golovkin vs Geale boxing tonight: match time TV schedule live online

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Tonight’s boxing schedule sees Gennady Golovkin attempting to defend his middleweight title – and his undefeated career record – against Daniel Geale in a match taking place in New York City. The boxing action is airing live on cable television, and is also being made available live online for those viewers who are away from their television. For an east coast fight, Golovkin vs Geale has a fairly late start time.

Gennady Golovkin has a career boxing record of 29 wins and no losses, with 26 of those wins coming via knockout. Daniel Geale has a career record of 30 wins and 2 losses, with 16 of those wins being knockouts. There are also a number of boxing matches scheduled on the undercard tonight. Bryant Jennings takes on Mike Perez, in a twelve round WBC heavyweight eliminator fight. Dusty Hernandez-Harrison boxes against Wilfredo Acuna in an eight round welterweight bout. Julian Rodriguez faces Yankton Southern in a brief four-round junior welterweight battle. And it’s Ola Afolabi vs Anthony Caputo Smith in a cruiser-weight fight.

Golovkin vs Geale and the rest of the boxing schedule tonight has a start time schedule of 9:30pm eastern time, airing on TV channel HBO and also available live online via HBO live streaming for existing paid HBO subscribers.

CFL football game tonight: Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan TV time

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The Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders face each other tonight in a CFL football game which sees both teams looking to rebound from rough starts to their seasons. While CFL coverage is sometimes spotty on United States television, this game – with a late start time for east coast football fans – is airing on a prominent TV channel in the USA.

Toronto has started the CFL season with a 1-3 losing record, sinking to third place in the East Division. Saskatchewan has done slightly better with a 1-2 losing record, but that’s only good enough for last place in the West Division, where the other four teams all have winning records so far. The Roughriders are hoping that home field advantage will work in their favor tonight, where they’re 1-1 this season.

Tonight’s Toronto Argonauts at Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL football game has a start time schedule of 10:00pm eastern time, airing on TV channel ESPN2 in the United States.

Arena Football League game schedule tonight: live online TV start time

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The Arena Football League has the busiest schedule of its season today, as the various teams finish out their seasons and vie for playoff berths. Some of the games are airing on TV, but all of them will be made available to watch live online in an official capacity. Tonight’s matchups include the local rivalry of Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, the warm-weather matchup of Arizona vs Orlando, the pairing of oceanfront teams Los Angeles vs Jacksonville, the Florida-Ohio grudge match of Cleveland vs Tampa Bay, the geographically mismatched San Jose vs Iowa, and the pacific northwest rivalry of Spokane vs Portland. Full schedule, start times, and TV and live online info below.

The Arena Football League schedule begins today with Philadelphia at Pittsburgh with a start time of 5:00pm eastern time. Then comes Arizona at Orlando and Los Angeles at Jacksonville, both starting at 7:00pm eastern time. Cleveland at Tampa Bay then starts at 7:30pm eastern time, followed by San Antonio at New Orleans starting at 8:00pm, then the odd 8:05pm start time for San Jose at Iowa. Finally comes Spokane at Portland starting at 10:00pm eastern time, 7:00pm local pacific time.

The Arizona Rattles vs the Orlando Predators airs on tonight on CBS Sports. The remainder of tonight’s Arena League games are airing live online via ESPN3.

NASCAR race today: Nationwide Series schedule Brickyard Indy TV time

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The NASCAR Nationwide Series drives into the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, as stock car drivers try their hand on the most famous Indy Car track of all. The mismatched landscape (the Brickyard’s corners and embankments are built for a completely different kind of racing) makes for a wildcard today, as the NASCAR Nationwide “junior circuit” drivers try their hand a day before the Sprint Cup tackles the Brickyard. Today’s race, known as the Lilly Diabetes 250, has an unusual start time and airs on a different TV channel than most races have this season.

The Indy Brickyard race comes just as the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings have undergone a seismic shift, with Chase Elliot, the eighteen year old son of NASCAR racing legend Bill Elliott, has overtaken the top of the Nationwide leaderboard. Regan Smith, who has led the points standings for most of the season, is now seven points behind in second place. Former Sprint Cup driver Elliott Sadler is just one point behind Smith in third place, while Ty Dillon (fourth), Brian Scott (fifth), and Trevor Bayne (sixth) are the only other drivers within double digits of the lead.

Today’s race could result in a changing of the guard for all of the top three positions, or a strong performance by Elliott could result in him expanding on his newfound lead. In other notable NASCAR Nationwide Series names, fan favorite Dakoda Armstrong is in thirteenth place heading into today’s race, while Jeffrey Earnhardt – grandson of Dale Earnhardt and nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr – is currently in eighteenth place. The “Lilly Diabetes” race title is meant to promote the latest diabetes-fighting drugs from pharmaceutical company Lilly.

Today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Indianapolis Brickyard has a start time schedule of 4:30pm eastern time, meaning it’ll start during the daytime but could end under the lights, and airs on TV channel ESPN, as NASCAR continues to distance itself from its soon to end television partnership with TNT.

Miami Heat roster 2014: Michael Beasley future, Mario Chalmers trade

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The 2014 Miami Heat roster has been largely filled in thanks to a a handful of prominent free agent additions and a subsequent flurry of post-LeBron re-signings of existing Heat players. Two names still kick up dust each time they’re mentioned, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, and the storyline is different for each in terms of roster positioning and fan sentiment.

Fans in South Beach generally seem to want Michael Beasley on the Miami Heat roster for the 2014-2015 season. Although he added little on the court last season, he remained trouble-free and proved he can be a solid teammate. If not for a late season hamstring injury, Beasley might have seen some postseason action as his older roster-mates wore down physically in the later rounds. One problem: Pat Riley and the Heat haven’t gotten around to re-signing him yet, and can now only offer him the veteran minimum. Working in Miami’s favor is that no other teams have publicly expressed interest in Michael Beasley yet, meaning he’s likely theirs for another season if they want him.

Mario Chalmers is a different story. His inconsistent play, and occasional prominent boneheaded mistakes have made him a lightning rod with fans, who have been so frustrated with the mistakes that they’ve failed to notice he just had his best statistical season of his career. That wasn’t helped by his poor performance in the NBA Finals, which got him benched for the final game. While the Miami Heat drafted his supposed successor Shabazz Napier in the first round of the draft this summer and are also hoping Norris Cole can step up and play starter-quality basketball, the team also re-signed Chalmers and he may end up being the starter on opening day.

While some Heat fans will immediately begin demanding that he be traded after his first ill-timed turnover, the reality is that Miami isn’t allowed to trade Chalmers until December 15th at the earliest, and that would only happen if both Cole and Napier got off to strong starts to the season. Nor would the Heat likely be able to get anything of value back for Chalmers in such a trade scenario, beyond salary cap space. But with three talented point guards on the Miami Heat roster, Mario Chalmers may not keep the job for very long unless he can find greater consistency. Still, Chalmers is in a better position than Michael Beasley, who not only lacks any shot of being a starter, he doesn’t even have a contract.

Fire Joe Philbin if Miami Dolphins miss playoffs on tough schedule

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Will the banners over the stadium read “Way to go Joe” or “Fire Joe Philbin”? The difference could come down to a single win. The Miami Dolphins have a roster just strong enough to eke out nine wins if most of the pieces fall together, and to slip into bottom seeds of the 2014 playoffs for the first time in six seasons. If that happens, head coach Joe Philbin gets lauded for finally bringing a bit of relevance back to the franchise. If he only manages to eke eight wins out of this roster, or if he wins nine games but misses the postseason, Philbin’s third year as head coach could be his last. With a tough schedule lying ahead and the likelihood of opening the season no better than 1-2, things aren’t exactly lining up for him so far.

The good news for Joe Philbin is that he appears to be on the same page as new general manager Dennis Hickey, who in turn appears to be some degree of competent. The same couldn’t be said about the previous GM Jeff Ireland, whose draft picks and free agent moves rarely coincided with any of the team’s needs, and as it turned out, often involved players whom Philbin flat out didn’t want. But the brief tenure of Hickey has yielded a long overdue and sorely needed overhaul of the offensive line along with upgrades at cornerback, running back, and possibly safety. Throw in the fact that the specter of “Bullygate” is now in the rear view, and it would seem to be enough to ensure that last year’s eight win team can graduate to at least a nine win squad in 2014, even though two of its first three games are against New England and Kansas City.

Then comes the bad news. Mike Pouncey, the pro bowler and only holdover from last year’s original starting five on the offensive line, will miss an undetermined portion of the season due to surgery. Suddenly the Miami Dolphins are looking at starting the season with a center who’s either a scrub or an out-of-position guard. Knowshon Moreno, the high profile free agent addition at running back, will miss time as well. That means Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas, whose inconsistent performances last year were the reason Moreno was acquired, will once again be the featured backs when the season begins. That shines a greater spotlight on the free agent additions at other positions such as Cortland Finnegan at cornerback and Louis Delmas at safety, both of whom are question marks, as the team will need to find improvement somewhere. But all of that may not matter as much as one overriding factor.

Joe Philbin has spent his entire Miami Dolphins tenure attached at the hip to first round quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has spent his first two seasons playing just well enough to keep the starting job but not well enough to instill much confidence for anyone involved. If he finally takes a step forward in his third season, a distinct possibility with the addition of new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, Joe Philbin may be able to ride his QB into the playoffs. If Tannehill falters throughout the season, not only will the “Fire Joe Philbin” banners be flying over Sun Life Stadium, fans will likely get their wish by season’s end.

Miami Heat roster 2014-2015: Chris Birdman Andersen vs Udonis Haslem

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Chris Bosh is now the primary scoring threat for the Miami Heat, but what position will he play? And how will he and fellow paint players Chris Birdman Andersen and Udonis Haslem coexist in a revamped frontcourt? These are the issues which Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra must be chewing over privately this offseason even as the team’s remaining non-bandwagon fans are left to wonder the same question.

For the past few years Chris Bosh has been playing out of position as a quasi-center, due both to the fact that his offensive skills were largely a less potent duplicate of those of LeBron James, and to the fact that the Miami Heat lacked a true starting center. But with James now gone, Bosh’s days of defending opposing centers and biding his time on offense are likely over. He’ll ostensibly shift back to power forward, his natural position, and leave the center defense to other players while he focuses on his new core role of scoring points in the paint.

That means either Chris Birdman Andersen or newcomer Josh McRoberts will become the starting de facto center, focusing primarily on offensive rebounds and defending opposing centers. If both men platoon at the center position, that places longtime hometown Miami Heat fan favorite Udonis Haslem as the Bosh’s primary backup at power forward. Haslem’s playing time has been inconsistent since the arrival of James, and he’s been used as more of an emotional spark than as a regular member of the rotation. That could be about to change, though at thirty-four years old, Haslem may not be counted on for as many minutes as he was back in his pre-LeBron days.

At the same time, Chris Andersen is thirty-six years old himself. Aside from a calf injury which limited his effectiveness late in the playoff last season, he’s shown no signs of slowing down. Then again, that may be due to the fact that he hasn’t played starter minutes since joining the Miami Heat a season and a half ago. If the nearly a decade younger Josh McRoberts becomes the regular starting center, the Birdman could end up being the primary backup at both the power forward and center positions. However in such case, at least some of the backup minutes would have to go to another frontcourt player such as the multi-position newcomer Danny Granger or another playing willing to sign for the veteran minimum.nlebron