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Heat Point: A conversation about Hassan Whiteside and the Heat's quest for size

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On Nov. 24, the Miami Heat signed Hassan Whiteside, but will he really make a difference for Miami? Jay Ramos and Isaac Koppel discuss on the first 'Heat Point' of the season.

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On Nov. 24, the Miami Heat signed Hassan Whiteside, who was recently producing in the NBA Developmental League after spending time in training camp with the Memphis Grizzlies. It got us thinking about the Heat's search for help inside and their tendencies in looking for that help. Is Whiteside the answer?

Jay Ramos: So Miami signed Hassan Whiteside and finally solved their rim protection issues, right?

Isaac Koppel: Whiteside has a 7'7" wingspan, and while I'm not an expert, I'd say that probably makes him a decent rim protector. He showed solid shot blocking instincts in college and that should translate to the NBA. That's not really my question about him. The real question is can he do anything else besides that to help the team? Because if not I don't see a way he gets on the court. 

JR: Pat Riley has always been a size fetishist anyway. Any type of intriguing size is worth a shot to him, whether it be trying to rehab traditional bigs like Eddy Curry or Greg Oden, or putting developmental time into athletic-types like Joel Anthony, Jarvis Varnado, Khem Birch and now Whiteside.

Mostly it's been the search for the next Joel Anthony. The Heat likes long, athletic big guys, that in theory, can fit into their system. They want to defend pick-and-rolls aggressively.

The problem is, if these guys are available in the first place, they probably have little NBA ready skill. Anthony is one of the most improbable NBA rotation players ever, when you take into account he averaged less than five points in college and can barely catch a basketball.

In addition, Miami has become more of an offensive oriented culture, at least it seems that way until the defense can be top ten again, and stretch players like Justin Hamilton, Shawne Williams and Josh McRoberts seem like better overall fits as long as they can capably defend.

I can't see Whiteside finding a role in Miami. Intriguing but he's going to negatively affect the great things Miami is doing offensively.  


Anyways, you're right about that. This team was so desperate for size a few years ago they actually started Dexter Pittman in a playoff game.

Whiteside does have intriguing length, but if you watch his D-League highlights it's really just him catching and dunking, usually uncontested. This team has to manufacture offense in more creative ways than in the past (the price of losing LeBron) and Whiteside doesn't really fit with that. Even Birdman has been taking midrange jumpers occasionally. I don't see that happening with Whiteside.

Like I said, I'm intrigued by his defensive potential, but I don't see much else there. 

JR: Forgot about the Pittman run, yeesh.