The 2010-11 season is just weeks away, but many teams have yet to firm up their starting lineups. The most notable, of course, is the point guard slot in Miami. Coach Erik Spoelstra has said LeBron James may get minutes at the 1, but the true starting role will be decided between Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers.
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Both Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal were acquired this offseason to help fill the void left by Kendrick Perkins, Boston's primary center, who is still recovering from knee surgery. Doc Rivers said he plans to stick with one guy as the starter instead of rotating them.
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The Hornets acquired Ariza from Houston to provide reinforcement for star point guard Chris Paul. But the 6-8 veteran can player either the 2 or 3, meaning he'll be competing with Thornton (SG) and Stojakovic (SF) at either spot.
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After losing starting point guard Raymond Felton via free agency (he signed with the Knicks this offseason), the Bobcats must choose between a guy who played 18.4 minutes in 80 games while averaging 6.3 points and 2.4 assists last season (Augustin), and a seven-year veteran who has struggled to return to form after a nasty knee injury in 2007 (Livingston).
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Casspi's first year in the league turned into a marketer's dream as he became the first Israeli in the NBA, and a darn good one at that; he averaged 10.3 points in 25.1 minutes last season. This year, he'll have to duke it out with third-year player and fellow 22-year-old Greene.
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With the new Big Three -- LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- Miami has more than enough talent to fill the 2, 3 and 4 spots, but the center remains open. The 6-foot-9 Anthony, who played in 80 games last season with the Heat, hopes to fend off 7-3 newcomer Ilgauskas for the job. Udonis Haslem, a natural power forward, is also an option.
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Williams, the Nets' first-round pick in 2009, earned consistent time on the floor late last season to finish with averages of 8.4 points, 4.5 boards and 2.9 assists. This season, though, he'll have to outshine former Warrior Morrow, a 25-year-old undrafted guard from Georgia Tech who is one of the best outside shooters in the game (he's shot 47.2 percent from three-point range over his two-year career).
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Washington's go-to small forward, Josh Howard, is recovering from knee surgery, so a battle has been waged between Thornton, Young and Yi to fill in. Thornton, who was traded from the Clippers last February, has averaged 13.3 points on 44.8 percent shooting in three seasons. Yi, who struggled last season with the Nets before being traded over the summer, has averaged 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds in three seasons. And Young, entering his fourth season with the Wizards, has averaged 9.1 points.
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Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said he would experiment with the team's starting lineup, especially with Rashard Lewis, a natural small forward who's been playing the 4. But in the end Lewis seems likely to stay at the PF slot, leaving the 3 to be decided between Pietrus, who played 22.5 minutes over 75 games last season, and the well-traveled Richardson, who signed as a free agent this summer.
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New Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau planned to put his offseason acquisitions to the test during training camp. Korver, a sharpshooter who spent the past three seasons in Utah, and Brewer, a more defensive-minded player and Korver's former teammate with the Jazz, will go head-to-head for a chance to fill the starting role left by Kirk Hinrich.
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The Raptors have a number of starting spots to settle, including a point guard position that Jack and Calderon shared last season. Calderon reportedly was almost traded to Charlotte in the offseason.
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LeBron James' old spot is up for grabs. Moon and Williams played limited minutes for Cleveland last season, while Graham signed as a free agent after spending 2009-2010 with Denver.
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