By Josh Baumgard (@MiaSportsGuy)
Despite manning the top spot in the Eastern Conference, the Heat have been plagued by poor rebounding all season. Is help on the way?
The Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman reports the kaleidoscopic Chris “Birdman” Andersen will be brought in for a workout on Tuesday. The 34-year-old peacock/center hybrid has consistently ranked among the league’s better rebounders since his inception back in 1999.
Miami ranks a putrid 21st league wide in rebound rate, down from 6th in 2012. Despite adding Udonis Haslem to the starting lineup, the team hasn’t fared any better.
Offensively, Andersen is no juggernaut. He’s never averaged more than eight points a game, most of which came via lob dunks and put-backs. Scoring isn’t his strength.
Anderson is a role player who will bang and board for 15 minutes a night. He posts solid career averages of 3.2 blocks and 10.5 rebounds per 36 minutes. (For comparison, Chris Bosh averages 1.1 BLK and 8.9 REB per 36 MIN.)
Assuming he’s healthy and maintains a resemblance of the springy athlete from a few years back, he can be an asset for a team with championship aspirations. Think of a healthy Birdman as a poor man’s Dennis Rodman – who like Rodman – treats his body like an amusement park designed for Charlie Sheen.
Now onto the sticky residue of the Birdman’s past. His rap sheet is as follows:
- In 2006, he was terminated from the NBA for violating the league’s drug and abuse policy. (Via ESPN: “A player can only be disqualified for a fourth positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, or a first positive test for “drugs of abuse. The drugs on that list could include methamphetamine; cocaine; LSD; opiates, including heroin, codeine and morphine; and PCP.”)
- In October of 2010, I dressed as Birdman for Halloween.
- In May of 2012, authorities searched Andersen’s home in a child-exploitation investigation. He was never arrested or charged.
- His last game action was on March 15 with the Nuggets. He was set free this summer when Denver amnestied his contract.
- In August of 2012 he peed purple.
Okay I made the last one up. At his best, Birdman gives the team a 15 minute boost of rebounding, rim-protecting and mo hawk. He would be far from a dynamic acquisition, but can help carry the burden on the glass and inject some energy when needed.
Birdman has been cleared for takeoff.