5 Reasons Why Hassan Whiteside Deserves This Year’s Most Improved Player Award

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3. Heat’s Best Two-Way Player?

Are the Heat still Dwyane Wade’s team? Of course. That will always be the case until Wade calls it quits. He is the face of the franchise and led the team to its first championship in dramatic fashion.

However, who really is the Heat’s best player?

Wade—with Bosh currently sidelined—is Miami’s leading scorer. He is pacing the team with 21.2 points per game on an effective .474 field goal percentage.

While Wade ranks 18th in PER with a 21.85 rating, Whiteside blows him out of the water in that department. Though Hassan is not the scorer that Wade is, Wade is also not the defender that Whiteside is. Nor can Dwyane impact a game the way Whiteside can on both ends of the court.

Heat faithful will argue that Wade is still the Heat’s best player, but the advanced metrics point toward Whiteside laying claim to that honor.

Next: Contributions to the Heat’s Defense

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D.J. Siddiqi grew up in the heart of South Florida in Broward County. Growing up in South Florida during the late 90's and 2000's, D.J. witnessed the Pat Riley years where the Miami Heat faced off with the New York Knicks all the way to the painful late 2000's seasons where the Heat were a one-man team with Dwyane Wade. D.J. has closely followed the Heat over the past decade-and-a-half, and unfortunately witnessed Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals in person when the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit to knock off the Heat. D.J. has writing experience as a columnist with sites such as Bleacher Report and Rant Sports, and he is proud to bring his knowledge of the Heat and the NBA to Heat Nation.