MIAMI- Every successful team has one player that impacts the game other than on the stat sheet, and their play has a direct effect on their team.
When talking about the Miami Heat look no further than backup forward/center Joel Anthony. A 5-year veteran from UNLV, Anthony has never wowed the NBA with his statistics but the Heat know his impact is felt night in and night out.
In his five year career Anthony has only averaged 2.7 PPG and 3.4 RBG in 308 games, but has played a major rule in South Beach.
Upon the arrival of “The Big Three”, Anthony played much of the 2010 season coming off the bench only averaged 19.5 MPG and averaging 2.0 PPG, and 3.5 RBG. He played a major role though as one of the first big men off the bench manning the center position that was a hole for the Heat team.
Last season, Anthony started off the season as the starting center for the Heat, starting 51 of the 66 games averaging 3.4 PPG and 3.9 RBG. A late season switch had Anthony go to the bench where he previously excelled the past season.
Anthony, brings rebounding and post-defense to a small Heat team that has lacked a center since the days of Shaquille O’Neal. While Anthony isn’t a true center listed at 6-9 245 pounds, he has provided a sense of “scrappiness” to a team that lacked the intangibles in year one of “The Big Three”.
With Chris Bosh playing more center this season, LeBron James moving to more power forward, and the additions of Rashard Lewis and Josh Harrellson to go with Udonis Haslem look for Anthony’s minutes to decrease this season. Despite a decrease in minutes, Anthony should be still effective as a big man who can rebound and provide defense for his team.
With the additions of Lewis, Harrellson to go with Haslem and Bosh, Anthony looks to be on the outside looking in but still look for Anthony to make an impact on this Heat team looking to repeat as NBA champions.