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The Birdman and The Warden: 30 Years of Heat

Chris Andersen and Joel Anthony are featured in today’s countdown article, coming in at number 34 and 33.

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game Four
Andersen and Anthony played together in Miami for a season and a half.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

34. Joel Anthony

Joel Anthony, a left handed shooter from Montreal, Canada, is an undersized 6'9", 245 lb. center for the current iteration of the Miami Heat. Born on August 9th, 1982, he played two seasons with Pensacola Junior college before signing on with the Runnin' Rebels at UNLV. He scored five points with four rebounds per game as a senior in 2006-07. On February 7th that season, he recorded 13 blocks and 11 rebounds in a game against the Horned Frogs of TCU. After going undrafted, the Heat signed him for the league minimum of $427,163.

As a rookie, Anthony appeared in 24 games, playing 20.8 minutes per game, and scoring 3.5 points on 46.7% shooting. He also collected 3.9 rebounds and rejected 1.3 shots per game. The Heat went 15-67 overall, winning in five of Anthony's 24 appearances. In a 112-106 win against the Milwaukee Bucks, He scored nine points on three-for-three shooting with 10 rebounds and two blocks in 20 minutes. On March 31st, in a 105-85 loss to the Indiana Pacers, he made a season high six blocks, scoring five points with nine rebounds. He had a season high 12 rebounds, scoring five points with four blocks on April 2nd as the Heat dropped one to the New Orleans Hornets, 106-77.

In 2008-09, Anthony started 28 times out of 65 appearances overall. He shot 48.3% from the field, scoring 2.2 points in 16.1 minutes per game. He also made three rebounds and blocked 1.4 shots per game. Miami went 36-29 with Anthony in the rotation. His best game of the season was on December 14th in a 102-86 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, when he set season highs with 12 points (on five-of-five shooting), 13 rebounds, and five blocks. The Heat posted a 43-39 record, earning the Eastern Conference's fifth seed. The Heat lost in the opening round to the Atlanta Hawks in seven games. Anthony scored 10 points with 19 rebounds and seven blocks over six games, playing 88 minutes.

2009-10 would see Anthony appear in a career high 80 games, starting 16 times at center. He averaged 2.7 points per game on 47.8% shooting in 16.1 minutes with 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. In a 108-95 Heat win against the Chicago Bulls on March 12th, he scored six points with a season high 10 rebounds and three blocks in 26 minutes. He only reached double digits in points once, scoring 13 points on six-of-six shooting in 37 minutes on March 28th, as the Heat defeated the Toronto Raptors, 97-94. The Heat went 47-35 for the fifth seed in the East, only to lose to the Bulls, four-games-to-one in the opening round. Anthony appeared in every game, totaling 13 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks.

Anthony scored two points with 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 2010-11. He shot 53.5% in 19.5 minutes per game, appearing 75 times total, 64 of them off the bench. With Anthony in the rotation, the Heat went 55-20. He never put up double digits throughout the season. On December 15th, in a 101-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, he scored five points with five rebounds and five blocks in 22 minutes. On January 18th, he didn't make a single field goal attempt in 43 minutes, but collected 16 rebounds with three blocks in an overtime loss to the Hawks, 93-89. In 27 minutes on January 30th, he scored two points with six rebounds and five blocks as the Heat set down the Oklahoma City Thunder, 108-103. The Heat went 58-24 and advanced to the NBA Finals, eventually losing to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. Anthony appeared in every game, scoring 2.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 27.4 minutes per contest. He managed a double double in game three of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics in a 97-81 Heat loss, when he scored 12 points on six-for-seven shooting with 11 boards.

In 2011-12, Anthony started a career high 51 times at center, with 13 additional appearances off the bench. He shot a career best 55.9%, averaging 3.4 points with 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 21.1 minutes per game. He helped the Heat to a 45-19 record while in the rotation. On January 21st, in a 113-92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, he scored nine points with nine rebounds and three blocks. He scored 11 points with six rebounds on April 22nd in a win over the Houston Rockets, 97-88. The Heat went 46-20 on their way to the NBA title, the franchise's second. Anthony played in 17 of the 23 postseason matchups, scoring 3.2 points with 3.2 rebounds per appearance.

2012-13 would see Anthony start in three of his 62 overall appearances, playing 9.1 minutes per game. He shot 51.5% overall, scoring 1.4 points with 1.9 rebounds per contest. He had his best game on April 15th, a 96-95 win over the Cavs when he scored 11 points with nine rebounds. The Heat went 66-16 and won their second straight NBA Championship. Anthony totaled 71 minutes over 14 games, scoring six points with 21 rebounds.

Anthony played in a dozen games with the Heat in 2013-14, playing a total of 37 minutes and scoring six points with seven rebounds and four blocks. On January 15th, 2014, according to www.basketball-reference.com,

As part of a 3-team trade, traded by the Miami Heat with cash, a 2015 2nd round draft pick (Jordan Mickey was later selected), a 2016 2nd round draft pick (Ben Bentil was later selected) and a 2016 2nd round draft pick (Deyonta Davis was later selected) to the Boston Celtics; the Boston Celtics traded MarShon Brooks and Jordan Crawford to the Golden State Warriors; and the Golden State Warriorstraded Toney Douglas to the Miami Heat.

After playing in 21 games for the Celtics, Anthony later played with the Detroit Pistons (68 games) and the San Antonio Spurs (19 games).

Stat Line: 382 games, 16.4 minutes, .508 field goals, .665 free throws, 2.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 9.3 PER, 13.3 Win Shares.

Cumulative GameScore: 1253.7

33. Chris Andersen

Chris Andersen is a 6'10" center from Long Beach, CA. He is the only product of the Blinn College Buccaneer to have ever made it to the NBA (although Cam Newton attended there for a while). In one college season he averaged 10 points with eight rebounds. The right-hander, born on July 7th, 1978, played a season of high school ball at Iola High, in Iola, TX. He never got drafted, joining the Jiangsu Nangang (China) in 1999.

Andersen later latched on with the New Mexico Slam (IBL), the Fargo-Moorhead Beez (IBA), and the Fayetteville Patriots (NBA D-League). He joined the Denver Nuggets in 2001-02, playing 154 games for them over the next three seasons. He later played three seasons with the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (104 games). He missed the 2006-07 season after failing a drug test. He rejoined the Nuggets in 2008-09, staying for four seasons (224 games). The Nuggets waived him before 2012 training camp.

On January 20th, 2013, Miami signed Andersen to the first of two 10-day contracts, eventually signing for the rest of the season. The Heat paid him $699,952. In 42 games, all off the bench, he averaged 15 minutes, scoring five points with four rebounds and one block per game. He shot 57.7% from the field, three times posting in double figures. Miami went 39-3 with him on the floor. On April 6th, he scored seven points with 15 rebounds in 25 minutes of a 106-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. In a 105-93 victory over the Chicago Bulls on April 14th, he scored 15 points on four-of-four shooting with seven rebounds in only 15 minutes. Miami went 66-16, entitling them to the top seed and home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Andersen appeared in 20 of Miami's 23 playoff games, sinking 46-of-57 field goal attempts for an incredible 80.7% shooting success rate. He scored 6.5 points a game, adding four rebounds and a block. In a game one win over the Indiana Pacers, 103-102 in the Eastern Conference Finals, he scored 16 points by sinking all seven of his shots, along with five boards and three rejections. The Pacers extended Miami to seven games, but were eliminated, as were the San Antonio Spurs in the Finals as Miami took home their second NBA Title in a row.

Andersen, labelled "The Birdman" early in his career due to his skill at maneuvering above the rim, allegedly has approximately 75% of his body covered by tattoos. He also sported a mohawk as his hairstyle of choice. After Miami secured the title, Andersen signed on with Miami for two more seasons at $2,847,997.

In 2013-14, Andersen appeared in 72 games off the bench for Miami, and led the team with a .644 field goal percentage and 1.3 blocks per game. He scored 6.6 points with 5.3 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game. He led the team with 129 offensive rebounds and with 97 blocks, and ranked third on the club with 379 total boards. The Heat posted a 49-23 when Andersen played and 5-5 when he didn’t.

On January 7th, in a 19-point win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Andersen scored 15 points on seven-for-seven shooting, with seven rebounds, two helpers and a rejection. He scored a season-high 18 points on February 18th, in a 117-106 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, making seven-of-nine shots and pulling down three rebounds with a blocked shot. On March 14th, he scored 14 points with six rebounds and four blocks as the Heat came up short against the Denver Nuggets, by a 111-107 count. In a five-point loss to the Boston Celtics five days later, Andersen dropped 16 points on six-of-seven shooting, with eight rebounds in 20 minutes. On March 24th, he registered his only double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds in a 93-91 win against the Portland Trail Blazers. He later played in 18 of Miami’s 20 playoff games. In Miami’s Game Three win over the Bobcats, he scored 12 points with seven boards in 22 minutes as Miami defeated Charlotte by a 98-85 final score.

In 2014-15, Andersen appeared in 60 games for the Heat, starting 20 times and scoring 5.3 points with 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 18.9 minutes per appearance. His 61 blocks ranked second on the team while his 299 rebounds ranked fourth.

Through the first post-LBJ campaign, Andersen helped the Heat to a 27-33 record when he played, versus a 10-12 record when he didn’t. His best came on March 11th, when he put up his only double-double of the season with 18 points and 14 rebounds in a 104-98 win against the Brooklyn Nets. He made eight-of-nine from the field and pulled five of his boards off the offensive glass in that contest. After posting a 37-45 record, Miami failed to make the postseason.

The Birdman started the 2015-16 season with the Heat for a fourth season, but after playing just 36 minutes over seven games, Miami traded him after he put up 13 points with nine rebounds and three blocks. According to www.basketball-reference.com

As part of a 3-team trade, traded by the Miami Heat with a 2018 2nd round draft pick and a 2019 2nd round draft pick to the Memphis Grizzlies; the Charlotte Hornets traded P.J. Hairston, a 2018 2nd round draft pick and a 2019 2nd round draft pick to the Memphis Grizzlies; the Charlotte Hornets traded Brian Roberts to the Miami Heat; and the Memphis Grizzlies traded Courtney Lee to the Charlotte Hornets. (Protected 41-60 in 2017, unprrotected in 2018) (2019 2nd-Rd pick from CHO to MEM is Nets pick; 2017 2nd-Rd pick from MIA to MEM is top-40 protected in 2017 & unprotected in 2018; 2019 2nd-Rd pick from MIA to MEM is Celtics pick and is top-55 protected)

Andersen played in 20 games for the Grizzlies followed by a dozen for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016-17.

Stat Line: 181 games, 17.6 minutes, .605 field goals, .333 three-pointers, .689 free throws, 5.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 0.5 assists, 17.4 PER, 12.4 Win Shares.

Cumulative GameScore: 1291.5