MIAMI — After a brief stint out of the NBA, Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen set his sights on warmer weather and migrated to South Beach. Miami’s acquisition of Anderson was the best mid-season move of the year.
Make no mistake, Birdman isn’t a glorified hustler, with marginal talent, i.e. Mark Madsen. Madsen could not shoot, dribble, rebound, and was unathletic. However, Andersen possesses a unique set of skills — a knack for finding the basketball, able to create plays for his teammates, and the ability to finish around the rim.
He also brings instant energy off the bench, a great rebounder, and can often be seen flying through the air blocking shots at will. The Birdman literally is a freak of nature and a disruptive force in the painted area.
Andersen joined the Heat this January, signing a 10-day contract. After impressive outings, the Heat signed Andersen for the remainder of the season. Team chemistry is undeniably high — just days after joining the club, Birdman’s flapping his tattoo-colored wings in the Miami Heat Harlem Shake video.
His emergence, not only as a defensive player, but an offensive threat, has relegated Joel Anthony to the bench. The Heat’s roster desperately needed another big man to defend the basket without being an offensive liability.
The Birdman swooped in, made an immediate impact and the ‘Heatles’ sparked a remarkable 27-game winning streak. And when Andersen plays, the Heat are an impressive 51-5 (including postseason).
The Birdman has been flawless (except being shot down by Paul George in Game 2,) this series versus Indiana going a perfect 13-of-13 from the field and shooting a blistering 85% this postseason.
Off the court, Andersen enjoys fishing, hunting and working on his trucks. Andersen also picked up archery while he was surprisingly out of work, after being amnestied by the Denver Nuggets last July. Andersen claims archery has helped sharpen his focus and improve hand-eye coordination.
The sky’s the limit for Anderson, and if he manages to stay clean, he undoubtedly will soar to new heights.
We all can expect see the Birdman take flight 8:30 PM (ET) tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, when the Heat attempt to go up 3-1 in the series.