The Big Three Is No More: Udonis Haslem Is LeBron’s Interim Sidekick

The U is having a resurgent year in Miami. Not just the college basketball program in Coral Gables, because Mr. 305, Udonis Haslem, is also in the midst of a rebirth. The power forward who nicknamed himself Django has been freed from his onerous role as Shane Battier's benchwarmer and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Big Three has been decimated. LeBron James is having Cleveland deja vu while Dwyane Wade is enduring the worst playoff series of his career and Chris Bosh has been bounced outside of the velvet rope in the paint by Roy Hibbert.

The Pacers defend the arc better than any team in the league and Hibbert's wingspan has James looking for alternative routes to the basket, but Haslem has found the soft spot in Indiana’s defense.

Haslem’s been on the Heat roster since Wade’s rookie year, but he’s been an afterthought to the unofficial Mayor of South Beach for much of his career. Now, the table's been turned. Indiana’s got Bosh clanking jumpers and Wade’s declining health is coinciding with the emergence of Hibbert and George. After averaging a career-low 3.9 points per game in the regular season, James’ interim sidekick has outscored Wade and Bosh in Miami’s last two wins. Haslem’s seen his role diminish every season during the Big Three era, but it appears he’s finally back in the saddle.

Thanks to him, Miami is also back in control of the series.

Now for the bad news…