Q: Why Ira? Why did the Heat re-sign Juwan Howard? Do they really think he's going to contribute going into the postseason? They don't need another bench player. Don't you think that roster spot would have been better served with a point guard? Nothing against Howard, but he can still be a locker-room presence with his Heat "consulting" job. -- Smitty, Tampa.

A: First, never overstate the 15th roster spot on a contender, since some contenders aren't even carrying 15 players. But if you were going to fill it, a point guard made more sense to me, in case Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole sustain the type of extended injury incurred by Chris Bosh during last season's playoffs. Why have to restructure your rotation and add additional ballhandling and point-guard defensive responsibilities for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Ray Allen when you don't have to, especially early in games if there were such an injury to Chalmers or Cole?

Q: Howard's leadership is worth more than any talent the Heat bypassed. Howard is respected throughout the league and by his teammates. You can't put a price on leadership. It is an intangible that doesn't show up in the stats. The playoffs are a long stretch. It is nice to have Juwan Howard "in uniform on the bench" with the guys. -- Stuart.

A: Good points. Except that two players will have to be inactive each game in the playoffs. Assuming one is Jarvis Varnado, it would seem the other would be Juwan, who therefore would not be in uniform.