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Heat encouraged by return of Hassan Whiteside

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Heat big man, Hassan Whiteside returned to action the other night in Miami's Red, White and Pink Scrimmage and offered a glimpse of how good this Heat team can be.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest things (both literally and figuratively) missing from the Miami Heat's preseason thus far has been Hassan Whiteside. Having strained his calf right before the start of training camp, the resident big man has been absent from all Heat preseason games, until now.

In Miami's annual Red White & Pink scrimmage Thursday, Whiteside made his return and provided a glimpse of how special the Heat can be with a healthy roster.

Whiteside's play was inspiring, as he produced an exceptional stat line of 15 points, nine boards and one block. Erik Spoelstra commented on Whiteside's play saying:

"I was encouraged. You see how he just changes the game in the paint. You can’t scheme for that."

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Bosh seemed excited about the return, explaining that he feels good about him being back and while it will be different, he thinks that they can do a good job together. The feeling seems to be mutual with Whiteside of course playing with Bosh for the first time since early February saying:

"I really feel we complement each other well, because our games are so different."

At the end of the day, if Miami really envisions a title run this year Whiteside's presence is essential. He's the key to the starting lineup Pat Riley created, and bearing no surprise trades, likely to be a staple in the Miami Heat community for many years. Whatever the case it's fantastic to see him back in action, and hopefully he'll be available for the rest of the preseason.

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