Five Major Keys to Victory in Heat's First-Round Playoff Matchup
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Five Major Keys to Victory in Heat’s First-Round Playoff Matchup

Goran Dragic Charlotte Hornets

3. Hassan Whiteside Must Dominate Down-Low

Hassan Whiteside Miami Heat

Whiteside has been a force of nature since the All-Star break and is likely due for a max contract next season. To secure that max deal, it will help if he can show what he’s truly made of in the playoffs by crashing the boards and being a dominant down-low presence throughout the series.

The Hornets’ Al Jefferson has more experience and a tighter two-way game but Whiteside is, by far, the superior physical specimen. This matchup might be the most intriguing of the series and perhaps the most important. If Walker is contained, Jefferson will look to take over. Miami’s 7-footer cannot allow that to happen.

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