Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
At the beginning of the season the Miami Heat were going with a starting lineup that didn't include Udonis Haslem.
While not being in the starting lineup wasn't necessarily killing the Heat, Haslem wasn't exactly bringing the enthusiasm Erik Spoelstra wanted off the bench.
Instead of decreasing Haslem's minutes, he used Shane Battier's injury to bring Haslem into the starting lineup, which was the right move to make.
No, Haslem isn't putting up monster numbers. His production is rather pedestrian, with just 3.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per game.
What doesn't show up on the stat sheet though is the energy that Haslem has inserted into the starting lineup. His effort has helped the Heat put an end to their early-season slow starts, and it's a major reason why the Heat are sitting atop the Eastern Conference.
Sticking with Haslem, a guy that gave up a lot of cash to stick with the Heat, was the right thing to do. And it was one of Spoelstra's smartest coaching moves of the season.
What else could he have done? If he moved Haslem lower on the depth chart, Spoelstra would've quickly become a villain in South Beach.