Chris Andersen will not be suiting up tonight for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers due to a bruised left thigh, the team announced before tip off.
Chris Andersen suffered the left thigh contusion in Saturday night’s Game 3.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 26, 2014
Greg Oden and Michael Beasley will be activated while Justin Hamilton will remain inactive.
Udonis Haslem will also be benched in favor of Rashard Lewis, following his 0-0-0 and plus-21 plus/minus stat line in Game 3.
Haslem’s role will go from slowing down Roy Hibbert early to supplying the energy that Birdzilla usually brings off the bench.
Indiana’s lineup remains the same.
This is somewhat of a major blow to the Heat. Andersen has been the team’s best counter to Hibbert without completely losing offense, as when Haslem is in. Andersen’s second effort baskets and solid backdoor-cutting game are assets to Miami.
As a result to his inactivity, Lewis will defend David West to start the game and Chris Bosh will draw the Hibbert coverage. Expect Haslem to be inserted quickly if the Pacers dominate this matchup early on.