It’s Time for Hassan Whiteside to Start

Hassan Whiteside was a 2nd round pick by the Kings in 2010. While with the Kings, Whiteside suffered a torn tendon in his left knee. Whiteside has been waived by plenty of teams and not even given training camp invites by teams. The Miami Heat, however, decided to take a chance on the young center.

Getty Images
Getty Images

On November 24th, the Heat signed Whiteside, and sent him to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Whiteside’s first Miami Heat game was on December 19th versus the Washington Wizards. Whiteside scored 6 points with 7 rebounds in 16 minutes of action. Whiteside, however, found himself in foul trouble having 5 fouls in those 16 minutes.

Whiteside struggled to find minutes after that game as for some reason Miami Heat head coach Erik Spolestra wasn’t giving Whiteside minutes. In the last 4 games however, Whiteside has been playing like the Heat wanted Greg Oden to be last year.

Hassan Whiteside has started the New Year off perfectly. In the 4 Heat games this year, Whiteside is averaging a near double-double with 11.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game. His 23 points and 16 rebound game versus the Clippers is hopefully a sign for things to come.

Hassan Whiteside has a fuel of motivation. He is a player that has struggled to stay on a NBA roster for the majority of his career. So what does that mean for him? He is making teams pay for it.

 “I got a chip on my shoulder. Everybody in the NBA saying no to me.” – Hassan Whiteside

Whiteside, who had a career night against the Clippers, said that he didn’t even get a training camp invite from them.

Think Hassan Whiteside is just giving all the credit to himself? Think again.

“The team was really doing a good job of keeping space and giving me chances to finish,” Whiteside said in a post game interview.

Some of his Heat teammates and even Erik Spolestra are starting to notice the Whiteside affect.

“He [Whiteside] had a terrific game. What you’re seeing is his confidence level rising and his teammates’ confidence in him rising.” – Erik Spolestra

Heat forward Danny Granger brought the financial advice

“Keep dunking and blocking shots and that’ll be $60 million,” Granger said.

So how bad has the Heat rebounding been the past few years? Whiteside’s 16 rebounds have not been recorded by a Heat player in 2 years. Whiteside also became the first Heat player since Alonzo Mourning in 2001 to record at least 20 points and 15 rebounds coming off the bench.

It looks as though Hassan Whiteside has found a home in Miami. He is the guy that can turn Miami’s season around and the first key is to get him into the starting lineup. While Spolestra has been giving big minutes to him, he is still coming off the bench in favor of Chris Andersen. The Heat can finally move Chris Bosh back to his natural position with this move as well.

“I called the Clippers for a workout, they said no. I called every team for a workout. They said no. Except the Heat. And the Heat gave me chance, and its only right for me to give 110% effort every time. It means a lot, like I said I called every team. Its crazy I’m on a team name called the Heat cause there’s always a flame in me, so I always try to come in and prove people wrong.”

Whiteside on the Heat team and their better performances as of late

“It’s getting better you know it’s get better especially with D-Wade and Chris Bosh”.

Hassan Whiteside’s confidence is through the roof right now. It’s time to give him even more making him the starter.

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Published by Tony Montalto

Twitter: @montalto_tony

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