CHICAGO (WSCR) Outside of the play of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem had the biggest impact for the Miami Heat in their 85-75 win over the Chicago Bulls in Game 2, and it was something the Heat happened to luck into.
“Haslem was a godsend [Wednesday] night, and to me it was a total accident,” Steve Aschburner, of NBA.com, said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “We started that game [Wednesday] night thinking that Erik Spoelstra, just out of stubbornness, had refused to activate either [Zydrunas] Ilgauskas or [Erick] Dampier after getting hammered on the boards [in Game 1]. And ‘oh no no, it’s not about who we activate or don’t activate, we have the talent on our roster to get the job done, blah blah blah.’ And we thought ‘here we go again.’ Look at the Bulls’ rebounds early in that game, even though they were missing shots…they had the opportunities. “
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After the game Spoelstra said that he went with Haslem because “there was a look in his eye” and he “knew it was time.”
“He went to Udonis Haslem not out of any eye contact or notion or vibe,” Aschburner said. “No, he went to him becuase he had to, he was running out of big-men. You know, what do you want Juwan Howard out there? It was a total fluke that Haslem was out there, and then the fact that Haslem was able to not only contribute right away, but to endure 23 minutes after really not playing since November, I don’t think that was great coaching or knowledge of his guys, I think that was a very lucky situation, and the Bulls, unwittingly contributed by getting those other Heat players into foul trouble.”
Haslem ended the game with 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in 23 minutes on the court.