Today in very recent historical comparisons, Reggie Miller gave credit to reincarnated Heat forward Udonis Haslem for his Gibsonesque slam. "I didn't know Taj Gibson was playing for Miami this game!" Miller said, in that characteristic lilt of his, all forced giddiness and wonderment. Perhaps TNT told Miller to back off of his allusions to civil rights leaders in the past few days, because with the year that Haslem's had, this would have been a great chance for him to drop a "we shall overcome" reference, and for all of us to collectively vomit.
Haslem, though, made a tangible (and yes, probably somewhat symbolic) difference last night. In Game 1, Chicago managed 17 offensive boards and last night they had just 3; beyond that, Haslem shot well (5 for 10 from the field; perfect on free throws), ran the floor like he had a predetermined dotted line laid out in front of him, and clogged up the key for the Heat on defense. He also threw down these two dunks, which each served to highlight, underline, and — just in case you're not getting the picture — draw arrows towards Chris Bosh's persistent futility this season.
If Haslem had been healthy all year, he'd have been playing like this all year. That's what makes him different from Taj Gibson.