Chris "Birdman" Andersen did not enjoy watching the Miami Heat lose Game 6 from an Indianapolis hotel room.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports caught up with Andersen after a night he wasn't allowed in the arena:
"It was real tough to watch, bro. A lesson learned," Andersen said. "I got to be able to control my composure no matter how rough the game gets. I just got to continue to play the way I play. Just play smart. Play the right way.
"Of course I could have made a difference in the rebounding. But we're still the Miami Heat. It's a tough series. Indiana is tough. But you know what, we got to go back home and the good thing is we have our home-court advantage. We'll go back to Miami and take care of business on Monday."
Andersen got into a scuffle with Tyler Hansbrough in Game 5, earning a one-game suspension from the league. With the energetic center not able to play, Joel Anthony became Miami's backup center while Juwan Howard actually suited up after being inactive for virtually his entire time with the team this season. The Heat were walloped inside, with Anthony and Chris Bosh going 2-for-13 from the floor and Indiana outrebounding Miami 53-33, with Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson and David West grabbing double-digit boards.
The tattooed, mohawked player emerging as a contributing factor on a team with a strong chance to win the NBA Finals is extremely confusing, but it's actually happening. Andersen helps defend the rim on an undersized team, rips rebounds, and although offense has never been his specialty, his ability to cut and finish baskets makes him a perfect pairing with LeBron James' ability to draw defenders and dish out passes. Andersen has hit 18 straight field goals, dating back to the team's Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup with the Chicago Bulls.
Obviously, Birdman isn't the only reason Miami lost Game 6. But he's proven to be a nice player for them, and is certainly better than Anthony. It'll be helpful for them to get him back for Game 7.
It's not the first time Andersen has learned from a league suspension; he was booted from the league for two years after violating the NBA's drug policy, but returned clean and capable of filling his role with Miami.