Chris Andersen had played productive, meaningful minutes for the Heat in two of their three wins against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Miami won Game 4 without him thanks to a big game from Chris Bosh, but dropped Game 5, when Indiana killed the Heat in the paint and on the boards, while Paul George got loose for 37 points in an effort that extended the Pacers’ season.
Andrsen missed shootaround on Friday, and is considred a game-time decision for Game 6.
Andersen was held out of the Heat’s shootaround this morning and will be a game-time decision for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. (ESPN). On Wednesday, Birdman said he was improving and no longer walked with a limp.
“It’s mobility,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said on Wednesday. “He doesn’t have much of it right now. It is getting a little bit better, but he doesn’t have a whole lot of mobility.”
A painful contusion has limited Andersen’s mobility since Game 3. He finished Game 3, a victory for the Heat, but hasn’t played since.
Andersen is shooting a high percentage from the field in the playoffs, but more importantly, his presence in the paint helps a ton against the likes of Roy Hibbert and David West.
The Heat have already won once without Andersen in this series, and are likely to do so in Game 6 whether he plays or not. As long as LeBron James returns to his normal self and isn’t limited to just seven points in 24 minutes of action due to excessive foul trouble the way he was on Wednesday, Miami is going to like its chances.