Apr. 05, 2018
Heat notes: Shaq's advice to Hassan Whiteside; Heat's new trade chip
Shaq's advice to Whiteside
It's been a frustrating year for Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who's role has been reduced due to small ball play and the Heat opting to play Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo at the five spot. After playing 20 minutes in Saturday night's overtime loss to the Nets, Whiteside went on a expletive-laced rant about his playing time.
"Man, it's annoying," he said, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Why we matching up? We got one of the best centers in the league. Why we matching up? A lot of teams don't have a good center. They're going to use their strength."
"It's bulls--t. It's bulls--t, man," he continued. "There's a lot of teams that could use a center. S--t. That's bulls--t."
Since then, Whiteside has been fined and both sides have moved on.
Like everyone else, former Heat center Shaquille O'Neal has heard about Whiteside's postgame rant and has offered advice on how Whiteside should handle his frustrations over playing time.
“Sometimes as a player you have to understand strategy,” O’Neal said, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Yes Whiteside is a big man; he’s a fabulous big man. But he’s not the traditional big man which you call the term five.
“When teams go small, Erik Spoelstra knows what he’s doing, says, ‘Hey, let’s go small, let’s trap, let’s rotate, get some steals, create some fast breaks. [Whiteside] has a legitimate beef. He really does. He made the comments hey, there’s lot of teams that want a center. He is correct.
“But he needs to understand strategy. If I was him, I would say OK I’m going to [let] coach do what he do, but I’m going to get a rest. Because playoff time when the game slows down, they’re going to need you, big man. Don’t let all that stuff [bother you]. I know as a player we want to play all the games. But I didn’t win championships until I had 15, 20 games off.”
Whiteside bounced back in Tuesday's win over the Hawks, finishing with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 28 minutes.
Heat's new trading chip
Last night, Miami clinched a playoff berth in the 2018 NBA Playoffs after defeating the Hawks 101-98. By making the playoffs, the Heat will most likely give up its first-round pick in June to Phoenix as part of the Dragic trade. The pick would've been kept had Miami remained in the top seven this season.
After the pick is used on draft night, Miami can move it's 2019 first round pick, which could be used in dumping salary for future flexibility or pursuing a disgruntled star.