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Miami Heat Position Preview: Center

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Here’s our final look at the roster with the center position.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s our final look at the Heat roster in our position by position preview. We have already covered everything else and you can read all of those below.

But now it is time to look at the center position and see how the Heat are looking here compared to the rest of the league.

The Stater: Hassan Whiteside
Status: Confirmed

Whiteside has no battle for the starting position on this roster. He’s the Heat’s lone max player now without Chris Bosh and the Heat are fully invested in him. Last year he improved in most areas and we should expect a small increase this year as the roster stabilizes and he’s clearly been working hard this offseason in his training.

Hassan provides the Heat with a defensive presence in the paint that can erase mistakes. He is terrific at finishing lobs and can also score when he is deep in the paint. He has been improving on his jump shot as well and can hurt defenses from 15 feet out when they don’t respect it, although that is not the preferred offensive choice. He’s a good player, but the Heat will not run their offense through him.

Whiteside’s biggest weakness is foul trouble, which he did get better at, but it often ended with him not contesting shots thus negating one of his strengths. He needs to find a healthier balance there. Miami is a better team when he is on the floor. We should expect Whiteside to play around 33 minutes per game, thus leaving around 15 at the center position for either Kelly Olynyk to slide over or one of the reserves.

He is hovering around the top 10 centers in the NBA. In no order: Towns, Jordan, Gasol, Gobert, Horford, Cousins, Davis, Jokic, Howard, Turner, Embiid. He’s in there, I’m just not sure where and it depends what you are looking for exactly. So that makes the Heat having one of the better centers in the league on their roster.

The Reserve: Bam Adebayo

This is a big question mark. Bam may not play a ton, but he will get an opportunity. Like we said, Olynyk may actually be the reserve center and Bam as third string. But we aren’t sure. Either way, Bam will get the chance to contribute. His motor is going to be unmatched.

He is a rim-runner. And he does that really well. So he will find himself in the right place often. He can do everything Udonis Haslem did for this team in his prime. If Adebayo finds a consistent jumper he will be a good role player for this team, and that’s great.

Expect the ups and down of a rookie year. But he’s young so don’t write him off or on too early.

The Help: AJ Hammons

Who knows what to expect here? Hammons may spend some time in the G-League to figure this out. He was an addition by subtraction when the Heat dumped Josh McRoberts. He has a bit of potential but probably not in the Heat’s long term plans.

I could be wrong, but I think he is just stuck on the roster right now without and real chance of seeing playing time.

Strengths of the position

Clearly the strength is based in Whiteside. He’s strong, competitive and helps set the culture. His defensive presence is unmatched at the position in this league. He should be close to an All-Star selection if he can make the Heat run in the middle of the pack in the East.

Behind him are question marks.

Weaknesses of the position

And that’s where the weakness is, the depth. Yes, Olynyk can play there and even Haslem so not all is lost. But relying on the 14th pick of the draft to be a consistent backup is not a good idea. The Heat don’t need to try to fix this, they just need to stay healthy.

So what do you think of the Heat’s center position?

Poll

What grade would you give the Heat’s center position compared to the rest of the NBA?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    A
    (296 votes)
  • 34%
    B
    (169 votes)
  • 3%
    C
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    F
    (3 votes)
485 votes total Vote Now