With nine points in the third quarter of the Miami Heat's 85-75 win over the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, Udonis Haslem had a big impact on evening the series Wednesday night.
But the biggest reason Haslem may continue to give the Bulls fits for the remainder of the series is not his scoring. It's what he represents as a physical presence, now that he's finally healthy.
"I was seeing guys running to the basket without bodies being put on them," Haslem said after the game. "We have to hit guys when shots go up. When a shot went up I was just trying to put a body on guys. If I couldn't get it, make sure those guys couldn't get it."
After the Bulls dominated the Heat on the boards in Game 1, it was very different with Haslem playing a big part in Game 2. And Derrick Rose sounded after the game like he's concerned about what Haslem's impact may mean for Game 3 and beyond.
"He came in huge for them," Rose said. "It was too many hustle plays we didn't get, and led them to scoring the ball and getting easy baskets. We can't afford to let them do that, especially not with this team."
Who would have thought that the Heat player the Bulls seem most concerned about is not LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh, but Udonis Haslem?