Chris Andersen

The Heat’s record since Anderson came on board is an astounding 48-5. In the playoffs, a span of 10 games in which the Heat have lost just once, Anderson is 29-for-35 (82 percent) from the floor and averaging nearly eight points a game.

His line in Wednesday’s Eastern Conference finals Game 1 victory for the Heat: a perfect 7-for-7 shooting for a season-high 16 points in 18 minutes, along with five rebounds and five blocked shots.

“He’s playing as well as any center in the league,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.

The performance wasn’t lost on the Miami fans, who’ve quickly developed an affection for the high-impact reserve. He’s become so beloved in just half a season that when he was subbed out in overtime of Game 1 for Shane Battier, boos echoed throughout American Airlines Arena.

Reported by Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star