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Why Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat should love him being double-teamed in the post

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Whiteside received the most post touches in the NBA last season. That's a good thing for the Miami Heat.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last season Hassan Whiteside received the most post touches (passes sent into the post area) of any player in the NBA with 602, which invites teams to double or even triple team him there. Studying game film of All-Star LeMarcus Aldridge shows how he makes teams pay for double-teaming him by passing out of the post to teammates for open looks.

As Rob Mahoney writes about Aldridge,

“Passing from the post is one of basketball's subtler arts, but it remains crucial for any offense structured around frequent low-block touches. A poor passer is easily countered when working with his back to the basket -- crowded, rushed and prodded into turnovers because of his inability to read the floor. But when a player can both earn double teams and pass out of the post appropriately, he can act as the engine for an entire offensive system.”

Reviewing last season's stats, for players with the 50 most post touches, reveals why Whiteside’s lack of passing out of the post denied him an All-Star nod, because Hassan’s doing it with blocks isn’t valued as much as assists are.

Post Touches

PLAYER TOUCHES POST POST% PASS% AST% TOV% T/A
PLAYER TOUCHES POST POST% PASS% AST% TOV% T/A
Hassan Whiteside 3513 602 17.1% 10.5 1.8 6.8 3.8
Dwight Howard 4065 589 14.5% 15.3 2.5 6.5 2.6
Andre Drummond 3694 557 15.1% 8.6 1.1 5.6 5.1
Steven Adams 2856 527 18.5% 22.6 3.0 6.5 2.2
Rudy Gobert 4993 511 10.2% 13.5 2.2 4.9 2.2
Karl-Anthony Towns 5895 469 8.0% 18.1 3.6 6.0 1.7
Marcin Gortat 3920 463 11.8% 13.8 2.6 5.0 1.9
Greg Monroe 2790 456 16.3% 21.3 4.4 5.5 1.3
Myles Turner 3942 416 10.6% 19.7 5.5 5.3 1.0
DeAndre Jordan 4154 411 9.9% 10.9 2.4 3.4 1.4
Marc Gasol 5516 402 7.3% 29.6 7.7 5.2 0.7
Clint Capela 2844 396 13.9% 8.6 0.8 3.3 4.1
Taj Gibson 3966 364 9.2% 21.7 3.0 5.5 1.8
Nikola Vucevic 4926 359 7.3% 30.6 6.1 4.7 0.8
Mason Plumlee 3878 358 9.2% 23.5 5.3 4.7 0.9
Jonas Valanciunas 3671 354 9.6% 14.7 1.1 5.4 4.9
Robin Lopez 2742 350 12.8% 23.7 4.3 6.3 1.5
Gorgui Dieng 4078 329 8.1% 24.3 3.3 6.7 2.0
Bismack Biyombo 3164 327 10.3% 19.9 2.1 6.1 2.9
Kosta Koufos 2063 317 15.4% 18.6 2.2 5.0 2.3
Alex Len 2282 312 13.7% 15.7 2.2 4.5 2.0
DeMarcus Cousins 5738 312 5.4% 20.2 5.1 6.4 1.3
Nikola Jokic 4914 307 6.2% 19.2 5.5 3.3 0.6
Thaddeus Young 3687 306 8.3% 23.5 3.9 2.9 0.7
Giannis Antetokounmpo 6547 298 4.6% 26.5 6.7 4.0 0.6
Enes Kanter 2440 295 12.1% 12.2 2.0 7.1 3.6
Anthony Davis 5550 295 5.3% 11.2 2.4 5.8 2.4
LaMarcus Aldridge 3827 284 7.4% 27.8 5.3 4.9 0.9
Willie Cauley-Stein 2046 282 13.8% 16.7 3.2 4.6 1.4
Zach Randolph 3386 276 8.2% 17.4 4.3 4.7 1.1
Tristan Thompson 3075 272 8.8% 15.8 2.6 3.3 1.3
Jusuf Nurkic 2832 269 9.5% 15.2 3.3 5.9 1.8
Brook Lopez 3837 263 6.9% 20.9 4.9 4.6 0.9
John Henson 1416 260 18.4% 17.7 3.1 6.9 2.2
Willy Hernangomez 2802 252 9.0% 18.3 4.0 6.7 1.7
Nene 1963 247 12.6% 15.4 3.6 6.1 1.7
Al Horford 4577 247 5.4% 36.0 7.3 3.6 0.5
Maurice Harkless 2595 239 9.2% 25.9 3.8 7.1 1.9
Zaza Pachulia 2141 236 11.0% 26.3 7.2 5.5 0.8
Serge Ibaka 3923 232 5.9% 18.1 3.0 6.9 2.3
Amir Johnson 2460 232 9.4% 18.1 3.0 5.2 1.7
Kenneth Faried 1898 229 12.1% 13.5 4.4 4.4 1.0
JaVale McGee 1060 225 21.2% 12.4 1.3 2.7 2.1
Markieff Morris 3208 221 6.9% 15.8 4.5 3.6 0.8
Richaun Holmes 2007 218 10.9% 17.0 0.5 4.1 8.2
Paul Millsap 4475 218 4.9% 31.7 6.9 3.7 0.5
Kristaps Porzingis 3996 215 5.4% 14.4 2.3 7.0 3.0
Tarik Black 1725 214 12.4% 15.4 3.3 5.1 1.5
Derrick Favors 2131 213 10.0% 15.0 4.2 3.8 0.9
Blake Griffin 4895 213 4.4% 32.4 6.1 5.2 0.9
AVERAGE 10.28% 19.1 3.7 5.2 1.9

Only two players passed less than Hassan's 10.5% of touches, while All-Stars Al Horford, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap passed to teammates at rates of 36%, 32%, 32% respectively. Again, in AST% Whiteside ranks 44th out of 50, with All-Stars among the top 6: Marc Gasol (7.7%), Horford (7.3%), Zaza Pachulia (7.2%), Millsap (6.9%), Giannis Antetokounmpo (6.7%), Nikola Vucevic (6.1%).

You don’t see Whiteside making the wide variety of passes Vucevic demonstrates in the video below.

Turnovers can be an issue as Whiteside had the fifth highest TOV/AST ratio in the table. Four players struggled more than Hassan on that ball handling issue: Richaun Holmes (8.2), Andre Drummond (5.1), Jonas Valanciunas (4.9) and Clint Capela (4.1). Not surprisingly the players with the 5 lowest turnover ratios are All-Stars Marc Gasol, Nikola Jokic, Antetokounmpo, Millsap and Horford.

A former All-Star Whiteside played alongside with, Joe Johnson shows how he smartly distributes the ball from the post in this video.

Mastering the art of taking advantage of teams doubling-up or even tripling-up on him in the paint or post may gain Hassan Whiteside the All-Star recognition he craves, instead of trying get it done with blocks. Popping passes out of multiple-coverage situations near the basket, could make him, as well as other Heat players who create plays from the post, a high-octane offense engine for the Miami Heat.

Other talented post players on the Heat who could run inside-out sets include James Johnson, Justise Winslow, Kelly Olynyk. This strategy complements the drive-and-kick that worked so well in the last 41 games.

Because defenders are busy trying to prevent the postmen from delivering mail at the rim, their teammates will thank them for improving their stat sheets with open looks for easy baskets. And the wins will follow for a deep run in the play-offs.