Hassan Whiteside can’t really complain about not getting the ball. In fact, he’s leading the NBA in some categories that show the Heat are feeding him more than some other bigs in the league.
#1 in the NBA in Paint touches/game at 7.4 — that is passes received within the paint
#1 in the NBA in Post touches/game at 8.4 — that is receptions within 12’ of the basket
stats via NBA.com/stats
But Hassan ranks #7 on the Heat in total touches per game. Clearly guards will dominate the touches game, but Hassan is getting the ball inside more than any other big man in the NBA.
Whiteside is averaging career bests 17.6 PPG and 14.8 RPG (also #1 in the NBA). The paint and post touches mean one thing, Hassan is staying where he needs to be, and the Heat are rewarding him more than other bigs. But we can’t read too much into this.
Here’s what you need to know...
Hassan doesn’t generate offense from the post.
Whiteside rarely, rarely gets a play drawn for him to give to him in the post. It maybe happens once a game it seems like, and it’s not normal. His post touches come from either necessity or relief of trouble from a ball handler. But have you ever seen this from the movie Eddie?
Hassan can tend to be a black hole once he gets the ball. That means once he gets it down in that post, it probably isn’t coming back out. He’s going to try to do something. And sometimes that works, but it seems more like the scouting report knows that and the defense collapses.
The Miami Heat’s offense doesn’t generate team offense from the ball going into Hassan in the post, except that which he creates by scoring himself — which is OK but the only outcome is a shot, or turnover.
Hassan lives in the lower paint...literally.
And that’s a good thing. Hassan takes 71% of his shots from the lower paint, and that’s great because that is where is most effective. As you can see from the shot chart (click on the shot chart tab in the figure below), he has ventured out this season.
And that’s not so great. He has been able to take advantage of the free throw line extended shot to help keep the defense more honest on him. And he has shown some more range and getting better at it. But he is far more efficient in the paint.
That presence in the paint offensively is helpful for Miami, but in order for him to be better, he has to be able to have a go to game. And that means you are able to give the ball to him and expect a good shot every time. That’s what max players do.
He’s not there yet.
But he can’t complain about not getting the ball enough.
Or he can, because if you watch the game, it’s painfully obvious that they don’t run plays for him or run the offense through him in the low post.
And that’s what makes these stats more amazing. He’s leading the NBA in touches in the paint and post without plays to do so.
Keep doing your thing Hassan.