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

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4. Contributions to the Heat’s Defense

A reoccurring theme in this article has been about Whiteside’s dominance, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

Because Hassan has only played in 35 games this season, he does not qualify for the majority of advanced metric statistics. However, if one is to take a look at the 7-foot center’s stats, they would see that he would rank among the league leaders had he played in enough games.

For example, the league leader among all qualified players in rebounding rate is DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers. Jordan is grabbing boards at a 23.9 percentage clip.

What is Whiteside’s rebounding rate number? It’s 27.2 percent. That numbers not only exceeds Jordan’s, but blows it out of the water.

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The league leader in offensive rebounding rate is the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond, who is grabbing offensive boards at a 17.4 percent clip.

Guess what? Whiteside’s offensive rebounding rate is at 17.4 also.

The NBA’s block percentage leader is the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert, who has a clip of 7.7 percent.

Whiteside’s block percentage number is an astronomical 9.3 percent.

It’s not only that Hassan would be leading all three of these major categories had he played the entire season; it’s that he’s far and away the most dominant player in all three metric categories.

Next: Biggest Impact out of Contenders

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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.