Chris Andersen was brought to the Miami Heat in order to provide some additional size, athleticism and rebounding down low. In his short stints, Andersen has turned out to be a brilliant pickup by the Heat. A stat that reflects this is his player efficiency rating, as it is the highest out of any player in the postseason.
Oh how we love small sample sizes. In Hollinger’s ESPN PER rankings, Andersen has emerged at the very top of the leaderboard in this year’s playoffs, registering an insane efficiency rating of 31.22. The fact that DeJuan Blair of the San Antonio Spurs is second on that list certainly takes away some of its credibility and reminds us that it is merely based on four games. Even so, Andersen has been great for Miami.
Andersen’s efficiency in the regular season was great, but he has stepped up even more in the postseason. In the four first-round games against the Milwaukee Bucks, he averaged 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds, in just 14.8 minutes per game. He is also shooting at a 81.3 percent clip from the field.
I use the term shooting loosely here, as Andersen doesn’t really shoot. The vast majority of his attempts are either layups or alley-oop dunks, so his field goal percentage will naturally prosper under these circumstances.
These type of numbers are all good, but if you have watched Miami play, you know how important Andersen has become to the rotation. He is not a guy Erik Spoelstra throws into the game for some garbage minutes, but a very important piece to this incredibly proficient Heat squad.
Birdman will likely give up his spot at the top of the PER rankings, possibly to the best player in the world, who also happens to be on his team, but the stat further solidifies Andersen’s impact.
Vytis is a Miami Heat and NBA columnist for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter here: @VytisLasaitis