The Miami Heat was handed down two suspensions for their rough play against the Pacers in Game 5. Udonis Haslem will miss one game while Dexter Pittman will miss three. With the Heat ready to close out the series, how will the suspensions affect Miami?
Dexter Pittman very much deserved his suspension after a clothesline to the neck in the last match. Fortunately for the Heat, Pittman does little on the court that could really sway a result; he is averaging 3 points and 2 rebounds a game. He is easily replaceable by someone else in the rotation.
Udonis Haslem hardly has any better numbers, averaging six points and seven rebounds; but, Haslem is only a scoring streak away from bailing out the Big Three when they falter. Besides the Big Three, Haslem is the next, for many only, recognizable name.
Beyond his numbers, Haslem brings a presence to the floor. He brings a roughness that in a series as dity as the Heat-Pacers serious could mess with the mentality of the Heat, a franchize that has shown a pattern of buckling under pressure.
The whole conversation, of course, is worthless if the "Big Two" (as Chris Bosh has been discarded from paying Game 6) continue to dominate the Pacers. With the way Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have played the last two games—it may not matter if its three high school players playing alongside them.
If the two big men fall asleep at will, like they’ve done at times during the season, then Haslem’s absence becomes a bigger issue. With their supporting cast slowly falling away, Game 6 will be the opportunity for Wade and James to prove they’re unbeatable.