Udonis Haslem Makes Difference For Miami Heat Vs. Chicago Bulls

The Miami Heat were headed to another loss in their Eastern Conference Finals series vs. the Chicago Bulls until Udonis Haslem came into the game. Haslem is the heart and soul of the team, but he had barely played since November, when he suffered a season-ending foot injury. He dutifully worked his way back from the injury, but this was the first game in which he really made an impact.

Haslem ended up scoring 13 points and grabbing five rebounds, and his impact went greater than that. SB Nation's Heat blog Peninsula is Mightier noted the impact he made in keeping Chicago off the offensive glass.

He showed us all what the Heat have been missing for the last 6 months, something that we will hopefully be getting for the duration of the playoffs.  When he was in the game Chicago had no offensive rebounds but had 9 when he was on the bench.     

Or, to put it another way, he gave the Heat what Taj Gibson gives the Bulls. As SB Nation's Bulls blog Blog a Bull writes:

For all the talk about how much more of a 'grimy' team the Bulls are, Haslem has had that role for years on the Heat, including in their title-winning incarnation. A performance that can only be described as Taj Gibson-esque, Haslem was rebounding, hitting jumpers, and emphatically finishing inside of aggressive takes on the fast break. Not to oversell his contributions but again, when taken relative to what the Heat usually get out of their bench it's an important part of this series if he's 'back'.

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