Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem, who ruptured the Linsfranc ligament in his left foot during Saturday's loss at Memphis, is expected to miss the rest of the season after having surgery to repair the tendon.
Haslem is one of the NBA's nicest success stories, considering that he went undrafted from Florida in 2002, his weight jumped to greater than 300 pounds and he was cut from the Hawks in the preseason. After averaging 16.1 PPG and 9.4 RPG with a pro team in France (and ditching the weight), he gained a spot in the NBA's summer leagues, and was signed by the Heat as an undrafted rookie in 2003. He was the starting power forward on Miami's 2006 NBA championship team.
Given that Chris Bosh is currently averaging a career low 7.2 rebounds per game (down considerably from last year's 10.8), and LeBron James hasn't been much help in that regard either, the Heat signed veteran center Erick Dampier, a 1996 first-round draft pick of the Pacers who's spent the bulk of his career with the Warriors and Mavericks. He has career averages of 7.8 PPG and 7.4 RPG, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
To make room on their roster for Dampier, the Heat released 15-year veteran guard Jerry Stackhouse from his non-guaranteed contract. Stackhouse played in seven games this year, including a start at Memphis while Dwayne Wade was on the mend.
"But you can't make an omelette without ruthlessly crushing dozens of eggs beneath your steel boot and then publicly disemboweling the chickens that laid them as a warning to others." --General Tarquin, The Order of the Stick
Fan of the Indianapolis Colts (Super Bowl XLI Champions), Indiana Pacers and Washington Nationals
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Co-Winner of Time's Person of the Year Award, 2006
Until now, I've thought this team was still going to be pretty good, but just hadn't turned it on yet. I'm not so sure of that anymore. They've looked really, really bad. Before the season started, I thought this was a team destined to lose to the Celtics or Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals, maybe even reach the NBA Finals with a little luck. As it is right now, however, I don't see any way this team reaches the conference finals, much less win a championship. The season's almost a quarter of the way done... I just don't see any reason at all to believe this Heat team is capable of winning four of seven from the Magic. Or the Celtics. Or probably one or two other Eastern Conference teams.
There HAS to be a coaching change, and probably pretty soon.
They definitely won't win 70 games, but they're still an elite team in my book, just based on the talent level on paper. The Celtics have surpassed them as Eastern Conference champion favorites in my book, however.