Is It Time For The Miami Heat to Give Up on Udonis Haslem?

By Shane Phillips
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Old age is a part of life; there’s no secret to avoid it and no tips to prolong it as old age will one day get us all. The bones weaken, organs deteriorate, memories slip away and one’s physical well-being slowly disappears.

I am sorry to say that old age seems to be getting the best of Udonis Haslem.

The long-time Miami Heat veteran has seen a steady decrease in his numbers the last few years, but after undergoing offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus Haslem has really struggled to find his place this season.

The big man has been a staple in South Beach for over a decade and has spent his entire NBA career with the Heat organization. Sadly, Haslem’s career is slipping away.

Haslem is only averaging three points and 1.5 rebounds in six starts this season. His numbers have fallen consistently since the 2007 season, where he averaged a career high 12 points per game.

The 33 year-old may be entering the final years of his professional career, and I would strongly advise Erik Spoelstra to start looking elsewhere. Haslem has provided nothing for Miami this season. Sure, he is a big body and might match up better against other big men, but he offers nothing on offense and has seemed sluggish on the defensive end.

Spoelstra would be wise to try different starting lineups without Haslem. Spoelstra could try Chris Andersen alongside Chris Bosh in the front court. Michael Beasley could be a strong possibility as he has put up impressive numbers in limited time this season.

Spoelstra has tried Shane Battier in the starting lineup as Haslem deals with back spasms, but I am not a big fan of starting Battier. The Heat give up too much size and strength when Battier starts with Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.

I would prefer to see Spoelstra give Beasley or Andersen a chance. Both are playing well this season. Beasley offers more offensively, but Andersen can provide great rebounding and shot blocking abilities.

Just give it a try, Spoelstra, because it is obvious Haslem is not the answer and never will be. Haslem should ask Ray Allen for his secret to staying young and healthy, otherwise the Heat will be saying farewell to an iconic figure in South Beach within the next few years.

Shane Phillips is a Miami Heat Writer for Follow him on Twitter @Smphil01, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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