Hassan Whiteside deserves better than this. Yardbarker in its 8th Man of the Year Award gives Witeside his proper due.
Hassan Whiteside. It was another double-double year for Whiteside, going for 17 points and a league-leading 14 rebounds a night. He also averaged more than two blocks per and continued to be a defensive force overall. However, between the Heat just missing out on the postseason and the unexpectedly brilliant moments from teammate Dion Waiters, Whiteside was an afterthought. Hell, he didn’t even make the All-Star team despite his numbers, which is a microcosm of what today’s NBA thinks of the traditional big man.
If the Miami Heat actually made the playoffs after a putrid 11-30 record, Hassan Whiteside would have picked up a lot more shine than he got this season. Sure, you could say that he thinks a bit highly of himself, but it’s not without merit. While his blocked shots dropped from 3.6 per game in 2015-16 to 2.1 last season, his 17 points and 14.1 rebounds were career highs. If he continues to improve that post game while remaining a force on defense, Miami’s decision to re-sign him to that lucrative extension was a smart one.
Compared to the drama surrounding the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers, the stability of the Miami Heat gives Erik Spoelstra a big advantage. Miami has a lot going for it just by letting other teams self-destruct, including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.