What can the Heat expect from the Birdman

Category : Chris Andersen

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What can the Heat expect from the Birdman?

The recent acquisition of Chris “Birdman” Andersen is the Heat’s 2012-13 low-risk midseason pickup, following in the less-than-immortal footsteps of Mike Bibby two years ago (solid in the regular season before having one of the worst postseasons ever) and Ronny Turiaf (respectable until disappearing from the rotation after Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals) in 2011-12.

Those predecessors should serve as a giant caution flag for Heat fans expecting “Bird” to come in off the street and immediately cure Miami’s ailments, although at first glance the talented-but-troubled Andersen seems like a perfect fit for the Heat. The Birdman’s strengths are the Heat’s weaknesses.

Rebounding? Andersen’s career rebound rate of 17 is easily the best on Miami’s roster, and his 17.8 percent mark last season was a career high.

Andersen is especially adept on the offensive boards, where Miami ranks No. 29 in the Association. His 11.7 percent career offensive rebound rate (11.9 in 2011-12) should come in a handy for a team that has just one other player with an offensive rebound rate in double figures (Joel Anthony/10.2).

Defense? Andersen averaged 3.4 blocks per 36 minutes last year. Blocks alone can be misleading in regards to a player’s defensive prowess, but advanced defensive metrics say the Birdman is one of the better defenders in the league.

His Regularized Adjusted Plus/Minus (read this for a primer on RAPM) has been in the top 16 of all NBA players each of the last three seasons, due largely to his defensive contributions.

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By RobSmith

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