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5 Things We Know So Far About the 2017-18 Miami Heat
- Updated: November 13, 2017
The 2017-18 Miami Heat have been a hard team to fully figure out so far this season.
They have put on impressive displays early in games only to squander them in crunch time. At times, they have looked like the team that started last season 11-30 and at other times they have played very much like the team that finished last season 30-11. Luckily, both the team and its fans have a lot of time to figure out their true identity, but there are several things we know about the Heat already.
1. Hassan Whiteside still has room to grow
The 28-year-old big man has all the potential in the world. Not only has he displayed tremendous ability on the defensive side of the ball (proven by being the NBA blocks leader in 2016 and the NBA rebounding leader in 2017), but he has also begun to flourish offensively. So far this season, Hassan Whiteside is averaging an impressive 15.9 points and 13.0 rebounds per game, but those numbers could become even more impressive if Whiteside continues to work to put it all together.
More recently, the 7-footer struggled against the defending champion Golden State Warriors with just three points and six rebounds, and was ultimately benched by head coach Erik Spoelstra. It was a worrying sign that perhaps Spoelstra didn’t have as much faith in Whiteside as did the front office, which offered him a four-year, $98 million contract last season.
With the help of his team captains after the game, however, Whiteside got back on track and put on a dazzling display in the the following game against the Phoenix Suns when he had 23 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks in just 28 minutes of play. Both games were a reflection of what Whiteside is capable of. He can get shut down completely in one game, and be nearly unstoppable in the next. If he can develop a bit more consistency, the Heat will be a very hard team to beat.
Next: Goran Dragic’s FIBA EuroBasket 2017 was just the beginning