Look's like the Miami Heat have finally arrived to not being able to win without Hassan Whiteside.
With Dwyane Wade out, it has become the world of Whiteside, a player that wasn't in the league a year ago but an athlete that has has such an impact in his time, the Dallas Mavericks went on a 21-0 run while he watched.
He has dominated against teams that have All-Stars and formidable big men in their frontcourt. In the last three games itself, he's averaging 15 points and 17 rebounds. He has become the only consistency in this bizarrely inconsistent season for Miami.
The other night's collapse was one terrible to witness. It was like being on a ship about to dock on the port of victory before capsizing right before we dock. How else can you describe a 37-2 collapse?
At 20-26, the Heat are 7th seed and without Wade for the foreseeable future. Even if Miami reinvents itself with an offensive system built around the frontcourt of Chris Bosh and Whiteside, you still need a guard who can at least attack or someone that can shoot well consistently from beyond. The backcourt rotation of Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole and Shabazz Napier shot for a combined 7-for -27 shooting. Is Miami at the point where the glimmer of hope offered by James Ennis and Tyler Johnson are the best backcourt options?
Miami's next three opponents (Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves) have a combined record of 41-97, so it's safe to assume the Heat NEED to win these next three in order to salvage this forgotten season. Miami has found it's first legit diamond in the rough since Udonis Haslem and he has the talent to carry an offense.
The playoffs are just about impossible to miss and the Heat can still make some noise when completely healthy. The problem is the healthy part hasn't been there all season. The most glaring weakness for this team continues to be the backup position for Wade and just about everything coach Erik Spoelstra throws in there as answers doesn't work well.
All this team can do is continue to ride the wave of Whiteside and use it's biggest strength to pound its way to victory. Whiteside continues to be the white light on both ends of the floor.
Last night the Heat realized that without him Miami is waving the white flag.