By Nehemy Manigat, Senior
Hassan Whiteside has been missing from the Miami Heat roster for the last 10 games as of December 19, 2017. His left knee has been bruised since October 18, 2017 and it is still bothering him. However, the Heat’s $98 million Center is not making excuses, and he says that he’s dedicated to his rehab regimen in order to return quickly and better than ever.
So far this season, Whiteside is averaging 14.9 points and 12.7 rebounds per game this season for Miami. He ranks eighth in the NBA in field-goal percentage (.581), third in rebounds per game and ninth in blocked shots per game. So, it is no surprise Whiteside’s absence has caused the Miami Heat to post a mediocre record of 15-15, which is good enough for the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference.
After having an amazing first game, Hassan went on to miss the next five games of the season. On the road trip that started in Denver on Nov. 3, with Whiteside returning to the roster, the Heat posted the fourth-best defensive rating in the league (97.1). Upon his return Whiteside played well, but not up to par with what we have seen from him before. With his knee still bothering him the coach decided to sit our starting center. It’s no coincidence that, without Whiteside’s great defensive help, the Heat are currently ranked 13th in the league in defensive rating (106.5) through the last three weeks.
Although Miami misses Whiteside’s presence, the rest of the team has showed that they can hold their own in certain situations. Miami has the twelfth worst Net Rating in the league (-2.9) from November 29th to December 19th. The Heat coaching staff as well as all Heat fans are looking forward to Whiteside’s return so we can get our defensive prowess back. With our big man’s injury status as “Out Indefinitely” only time will tell where the team can go and what to expect come April.
Reynolds, Tim, and NBA.com. “Miami Heat Bracing to Be without Hassan Whiteside for Several Games.” NBA.com, NBA.com, 1 Dec. 2017. 17 Dec. 2017.