Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  29 responses

Udonis Haslem: Miami’s Unlikely Game 2 Hero

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Facing a must-win situation in Chicago last night, the Miami Heat needed someone — anyone — to play the role of hero.

With the usual suspects on the floor, it was the unlikeliest member of the team that delivered, and helped send the Eastern Conference Finals back to Florida all knotted up.

The numbers weren’t eye-popping (13 points, 5 boards), but Udonis Haslem’s inspired performance helped the Heat win a tough Game 2, for which his teammates and coaches were extremely thankful:

He didn’t want to be part of the show. He just wanted to set the stage.”I don’t claim to be the savior,” Haslem said hours before a critical Game 2 began. “I just think I can contribute.”

The coach said he spoke to Haslem before practice Monday and had a feeling it was time to get him back into a prominent role. “There was a look in his eye, and I knew it was time,” [Erik] Spoelstra said. “He’s an absolute championship warrior. What he did tonight was absolutely remarkable.”

“He’s the player of this game,” [Dwyane] Wade said of Haslem. “We don’t win this game without him. That’s our warrior, our heartbeat of the team. And he showed it today.”

Though superstars are always going to grab most of the glory and headlines, it’s role players that often make the final difference in these tough Playoff battles.

Chicago will need its own unlikely heros to come through as the series now shifts to Miami.

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  • Riggs

    Dude was a secret weapon, like riley pushed the red button on his chair and haslem came out.

  • vtrobot

    UD! Yr ma would be proud. Great game. I love how the momentum shifts with every game in a lot of these series.

  • dsleepy

    “facing a must win” ? It was game 2 of a 7 game series. I would hardly call that “must-win.” even if miami had lost, they could still even the series by protecting home court. Chicago’s main advantage in game 1 was rebounding and second-chance points. So it would make sense that a hustle big man who could help box out and play tough d would come up vital in game 2.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    As much as I dislike the Heat, I was so happy to see Udonis doing well. He’s a model player and it’s good that he’s able to still be a game changer.

  • Bruno

    imagine if Bosh had Udonis’s toughness and attitude …

  • RobbieJay

    @dsleepy, it was a must win. if they lost last nights game, the series couldve been concluded done.

  • Infamous

    UD played great!! He brings the warrior attitude on the floor for miami!
    Also it’s really not a must win but for miami it should be a must win because bulls are great @ home and they have home court advantage. So Miami did what they had to do. Win 1 in Chicago and try to get 2 In Miami and hopefully go up 3-1 that’s the smart game plan nobody wants to go seven games especially if u Miami don’t have home court advantage they rather close it in 6..

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    Yeah it was nice to see the guy back…and making a impact

  • tomtom

    You can pretty much backspace on the ‘unlikely’ part in that headline. The minute he was cleared to play i knew he would impact the team at some point, maybe not as spectacularly as last night but still. Don’t like Miami but i love that guys game.

  • tomtom

    You can pretty much backspace on the ‘unlikely’ part in that headline. The minute he was cleared to play i knew he would impact the team at some point, maybe not as spectacularly as last night but still. Don’t like Miami but i love that guys game.

  • tomtom

    Got to agree with @dsleepy. Smh at the media sometimes, teams are supposed to defend there home court. That game was far from a must win. Miami played that way though, credit where it’s due.

  • Hursty

    I honestly think that if the Heat lost game 2, the Bulls take this series in 6 or 7. This was huge for the Heat.
    Haslem was great. He only grabbed 5 rebounds, but more importantly, he stopped Chicago from grabbing offensive boards. At one point Miami had 2 TOTAL rebounds, while Chicago had 7 (!) offensive.
    And as soon as Haslem left the game in the 2nd q, the Bulls (unsuprisingly) got another offensive one.

  • KSupreme

    It shouldn’t come down to unlikely heroes… There’s 3 all stars!!! Just a plot to motivate a weak supporting cast…and a must win?! It’s only game 2!

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    definitely injected his heart and grit into this one

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZKZ-KmR5Qw Max

    Taj 2
    Dwayne 0

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Next player in the playoffs with UHP (unlikely hero potential): Caron Butler.
    Come on, Coach Carrey.

  • juguman

    yeah, wasn’t a must win. Remember in 2008 when Boston won. They only won home games to win the title except for the Finals against the Lakers, so in every other series, teams protected home court.

    good job for Haslem though. they missed him this year.

  • Jono

    @Darksaber YES!

  • OvaChicken

    Max. Dont worry , the weak always laugh firsk. Its all G. Back to our house ish licka.

  • JD

    Chicago – bring back MJ

  • JTaylor21

    UD 1
    DRose 0

    UD 1
    Bogans 0

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    It’s not quite the death knell that comes with an 0-3 deficit but an 0-2 hole is historically very hard to overcome, guys.

  • bike

    I would have to say that LeBron had a far greater impact on the Heat’s win than Haslam. Haslam is a good all around garbage guy and he had an impact but not nearly as much as LeBron. Is all the attention he is getting because he is Muslim?

  • @Deknowz

    @Bruno, Who is Alonzo Mourning for $1,000. lol

  • SikhWitIt

    UD is exactly what the doctor ordered, Miami’s been missing that garbage-man mentality from their big men all year

  • Ryan

    Miami: 1
    Cleveland: 0
    Toronto: -5

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    everybody 100
    jtaylor21 0

  • haha 4-0 lakers out!

    @bike…uhh yeah its coz he is muslim.

  • phil

    the tajmanian devil will rise again