Dirk Nowitzki was sick and Brendan Haywood was hobbled. And because big men 4 and 5 on the Dallas Mavericks’ roster are named Brian Cardinal and Ian Mahinmi, it was time for Tyson Chandler to step up.
With 13 points and 16 rebounds in the Mavs’ 86-83 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals, Chandler did just that, helping his team even the series at 2-2.
Haywood had replaced Chandler with 1:14 to go in the first quarter, and the Heat immediately went on a 5-0 run. When Miami began the second on a 7-0 run to go up 28-21, with Haywood struggling, Chandler knew he couldn’t afford to sit any longer. So he didn’t even wait for Mavs coach Rick Carlisle to call his name.