Heat's Greg Oden starting vs. Bulls

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oden last started as a member of the Trail Blazers in Dec. 2009.

Miami Heat big man Greg Oden will start in his first NBA game since 2009 when the team plays the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. Head coach Erik Spoelstra had to adjust the team's starting five after LeBron James was ruled out and decided to give Oden the starting nod.

Oden has played in 10 games for the Heat this season, averaging 2.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 7.8 minutes per game. The former first overall pick had been out of the league since Dec. 5, 2009. That was also the last time he started a game leading up to his chance to start on Sunday.

James was considered a game-time decision after suffering a broken nose. The Heat are off until next Thursday after their game against the Bulls, leading head coach Erik Spoelstra to deciding to give James an week of rest before closing out the season.

James' injury created an opportunity for Oden to start for the first time in over four years.

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