Five Reasons the Miami Heat Have a Legitimate Shot at Winning It All

Five Reasons the Miami Heat Have a Legitimate Shot at Winning It All

2. The Great Wall of Whiteside

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What Whiteside is doing off the bench right now is just remarkable. Over the last 10 games, the big man is averaging 16.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game while shooting .560 from the field. In addition, he still leads the league in blocks by a long shot and is finally knocking down his free throws like a seasoned, veteran shooting guard.

As a matter of fact, he’s shooting a spectacular .811 from the free-throw line since the All-Star break. His presence down low will likely carry Miami through several playoff games this year and perhaps through more than one series. Despite dealing with some disciplinary issues in the past, it seems like the seven-footer has renewed his focus, though he never likes to make much of what some around the NBA have deemed an “attitude problem.”

“Y’all guys acting like I’m going around beating people up and getting technicals and just going crazy,” Whiteside said. “My whole life has been tough. I’m still facing adversity. (Now) I just come out and try to be aggressive, but in a good way. I just try to channel that in a positive way to help the team out instead of hurt the team.”

His low-post dominance and ability to affect shots is showing up on opposing team’s scouting reports days in advance, simply so guys can prepare. As a player expected to receive a max contract next season, he will surely play his heart out come playoff time and show the world what he can do when the spotlight shines bright.

“We never experienced the [NBA] Finals before or making a deep playoff run. S—, we never even experienced making the playoffs,” teammate Tyler Johnson recently said about him and Whiteside. “Despite everything that’s happened this season, we have a chance to do all of that. That’s just something he’s been thinking about for a while.”

Next: Deep Roster

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