Haslem rounding into form

The Sports Xchange

Slowly but surely Udonis Haslem's game is coming around, which is the timetable coach Erik Spoelstra expected after the veteran power forward missed most of last season with a foot injury that required an offseason follow-up procedure.

Lately, in additional to his routine domination on the boards, he has been more reliable with his offense.

"You can't cheat the game," said Spoelstra, whose team won 105-90 Tuesday at Indiana and is off until a Friday game in Cleveland that concludes this six-game trip. "He only played about eight to 10 weeks in the last 12 months, and he was able to do something really unique in the playoffs. Nobody can miss a regular season and then come into an Eastern Conference finals, the most competitive time of the year, and have an impact, and he did. But that speaks to really his competitive will.

"Then he had surgery the day after the season and was out another couple of months and the lockout, so I think a lot of it was rhythm and he's been able to get to it."

To Spoelstra, the slow early go was merely a product of getting past the injury, the lockout and age.

"I said it before -- the last lockout, players around 30, it took 'em about six weeks to get into their normal shape," Spoelstra said. "If you've been out most of the year, I said probably expect double that. Now with him it won't take that much more time."

Haslem said he can feel his game coming around.

"I've been getting more and more consecutive minutes at a time, and so I continue to get more and more comfortable," Haslem said.

Haslem said the only way to improve on the court is to maximize his opportunities on the court.

"There's been a lack of practice time this season and I didn't play much last year, so I got to take advantage," he said. "Those guys had more opportunities to play together than I did last year."

Haslem closed Tuesday's victory with seven points and nine rebounds.

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