What a career it has been for Udonis Haslem, and what a way to end it if this was the last game of his NBA career. Key word if.
The three minutes he played might’ve been the most up and down sequence I’ve ever seen, but before looking at that side of things with the back and forth with Dwight Howard, let’s start it off with some parts of his game that stood out.
(Yes, I am looking at Udonis Haslem film. I’m not taking any other questions at this time.)
One thing about Andre Iguodala is that not only is he unselfish, but his high IQ can read different situations perfectly. Not to find the open man on the fast-break, but to find the OG on the fast-break to get him a bucket.
A nice tip back from Haslem gets them in transition, and he trails before receiving the ball for a nice finger roll at the basket. Bucket.
Some may have thought a minute of play is all that was needed for him to log his 18th season, which means he would exit after the end of the first.
Wrong. Here comes Haslem, trotting back onto the court to begin the second.
Philly is trying to navigate the 2-3 zone with tons of screens to get Tyrese Maxey some room to explode. The issue was that he exploded too hard to allow a seasoned vet to await a perfectly timed charge. And what do you know? Forces a turnover on the first possession of the second quarter, leading to Reggie Miller on the broadcast calling this Spo’s secret weapon.
But wait, that baseline jumper is still in that arsenal somewhere as well, right?
Before evaluating UD’s jumper on this possession, the way this play is set up is quite funny. Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, and Kendrick Nunn are three guards on the floor that need a constant ball-screen, but Haslem’s motto seemed to be you get one then I’m setting up on the box.
After Herro loses the ball, Nunn picks it up expecting that screen, but spot-up Haslem wasn’t going that route. Nunn drives and kicks, while Dragic reiterates that same thing and puts the ball on the floor to get UD that beloved baseline jumper. Another bucket.
Now, let’s get into some of that UD and Dwight Howard battle, beginning with what sparked it. Let’s begin with this Haslem box-out that you only see from old-heads at the park for no apparent reason. He may only have 3 minutes logged for the season, but he’s going to make them count.
A grin from Howard basically shows that he noticed this as well, not knowing that smile won’t be there for long. After the game Haslem described the altercation, saying, “When he disagreed, I disagreed, and it was a whole bunch of disagreeing.”
This was the actual play that sparked this growing tension between Haslem and Howard, since that slight hesitance from UD when he hit the floor signaled it was go time:
After some tempers rose, Haslem was ejected 3 minutes into his debut, but UD says he “finished it the only way Udonis Haslem could, with an ejection.”
He also discussed the significance of representing Miami as a whole, “Regardless of what people want to say about my career…The one thing that’s remained loyal to me is this city….They’ve always had my back.”
Many others on the team seemed to love the way this played out, while even Coach Erik Spoelstra called it his “favorite moment of the season so far.”
I asked Bam Adebayo about this situation, which he said his initial reaction was that “this mother-f****r’s crazy.”
I asked Bam Adebayo about UD getting ejected tonight:
— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) May 14, 2021
Once again, there is still so much unknown about the future of Udonis Haslem with the Miami Heat, but as he said, there’s not a better way to end it off. One hundred percent from the field. One hilarious altercation. One ejection.
The full Udonis Haslem experience.
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