The name is perhaps the last to come to mind when thinking about the key to the Miami Heat's offensive flow. Yet coach Erik Spoelstra calls production from forward/center Chris "Birdman" Andersen a sign of offensive rhythm. Andersen was averaging 9.3 points the three previous games before the Heat played the Dallas Mavericks Friday. "We don't run plays for him, so it's a good barometer when he's getting opportunities at the rim," Spoelstra said. "That usually means we're playing the way we want to play." Anderson scored 10 points in games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics. During the three-game stretch, he shot 11 of 14 from the field. The production is similar to the performance he had against the Indiana Pacers in last year's Eastern Conference Finals. Andersen averaged 7.2 points while shooting 88 percent. Production from Andersen and forward Shane Battier are good indicators of the Heat playing at peak level on offense. That usually entails strong play from the supporting cast instead of relying too heavily on Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. "I've maintained the entire time, when I have high 3-point attempts, that means we're really moving the ball and the spacing is really good," Battier said. "…Usually, I'm a pretty good litmus test of ball movement." It helps the team is built for the supporting cast to receive easy scoring opportunities. It's just a matter of taking advantage of them. Before Friday's game, Andersen was shooting a career-high 67 percent from the field. "I'm just taking what's given to me," Andersen said. "Whenever I come off a pick-and-roll, I happen to be open because they're guarding Ray Allen, they're guarding Dwyane Wade, they're guarding LeBron James, they're guarding Rashard Lewis. Everybody that's coming off my screens, they're guarding them with two guys and leaving me open. So I just hang around the rim." For Andersen, the recent scoring has provided a break from the sometimes unappreciated role of "energy" player. His primary responsibilities are setting screens, blocking shots and rebounding. So it's a welcomed change of pace.
Andersen making most of limited scoring opportunities
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Nov 16