Ray Allen

With James gradually shaking off the offseason rust to lead the way with 20 points, the Heat also got a combined 36 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists Friday off the bench from Norris Cole, Michael Beasley and Rashard Lewis. [Ray] Allen was also on the court with those three reserves during some of the more potent and cohesive moments of the game.

There was only one problem. That second unit for the Heat didn’t even include Shane Battier and Chris Andersen, who sat out Friday after playing in Thursday’s win in Detroit and will be vital members of the rotation in much the same fashion they were during last season’s championship run.

Add in the luxury of 11-year veteran Roger Mason Jr. and the possibilities that even a slightly effective Greg Oden can bring to the equation, and Spoelstra could be looking at the deepest and most challenging-to-manage rotation he’s had since Miami began its run of three straight Finals trips.

Spoelstra recounted Friday how the Heat ultimately didn’t have enough quality depth when they were eventually overwhelmed in six games by Dallas in the 2011 Finals. With James having slipped into a slump, the Heat had few reliable or healthy options beyond Wade and Bosh. That was a Miami team that relied at times during the season on the likes of Mike Bibby, Erick Dampier and Eddie House.

Reported by Michael Wallace of ESPN.com