Heat center Whiteside irked over lack of minutes, touches

NBA.com Global on Apr 01, 2018 02:05 PM
Heat center Whiteside irked over lack of minutes, touches
Hassan Whiteside NBA file photo

NBA.com staff report

The Miami Heat, desperate to improve their playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference, played a small lineup down the stretch of Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) 110-109 overtime loss to Brooklyn. It is not the first time they have done so this season.

Hassan Whiteside wants it to be the last.

The seven-foot big man, who leads the team in rebounds and blocks per contest, voiced extreme displeasure with his lack of involvement in the Heat's late-game strategy on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). He dubbed the pattern "bulls---" to several reporters while touting his own credentials as reason enough to ignore matchup issues with other teams.

"Man, it's annoying, you know," Whiteside said to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. "Why we matching up? We got one of the best centers in the league. Why we matchuing up? A lot of teams don't have a good center... It's bulls---. It's really bulls---, man. There's a lot of teams that could use a center."

Whiteside is one of just three players in the league to average a double-double in less than 30 minutes per contest this season. His usage rate of 24.5 percent, however, ranks fifth among all players averaging double-doubles this season -- more than Denver's Nikola Jokic, Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns and Utah's Rudy Gobert.

The Heat have succeeded this season with a committee-like approach on offense, with nine different players averaging double-figures in points per game. Whiteside, however, ranks 11th on the team in fourth-quarter minutes per contest, and has seen action in just 29 fourth quarters this season out of the 48 total games he has played. He is under contract with the Heat through the 2018-19 season, with a player option for the following year.

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