Chris “Birdman” Andersen Making Progress On Injuries

06.04.14 3 years ago
Chris Andersen

Chris Andersen (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Though the injury status of San Antonio Spurs All-Star Tony Parker has received more fanfare, the questionable health of Miami Heat reserve center Chris “Birdman” Andersen looms large over the NBA Finals, too. According to the team, Andersen was not a full participant in today’s practice.

Andersen was forced to miss Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers after suffering a thigh contusion earlier in the series. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra recently referred to Andersen – who played in Game 6 against the Pacers, it should be noted – as “the human bruise” to describe the increasingly fragile physical state of his 35 year-old center. Despite being limited at today’s practice, what’s most pertinent is that Andersen continues making progress in advance of Thursday’s Game 1. He was a total non-participant in yesterday’s session.

Despite modest per-game statistics, “Birdman’s” presence in the paint is of utmost importance to Miami. He is the Heat’s best shot-blocker, a great finisher around the basket, and boasts a unique combination of size and mobility that his teammates lack. Andersen played 14.2 minutes per game against the Spurs in last year’s Finals, averaging 4.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and .6 blocks a night while shooting 72.7% from the field.

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