- Report: Bucks aimed great deal of frustration at Mike Budenholzer after they lost to Heat in last year’s playoffs
- League executives and scouts agree that the Miami Heat will be the toughest out in the play-in tournament
- Erik Spoelstra vows to play Udonis Haslem before season ends: ‘I’m going to make it happen’
- Report: Miami Heat to be without Jimmy Butler for Tuesday’s game vs. Dallas Mavericks
- Udonis Haslem balks at thought of Kevin Garnett being as ‘tough’ as Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan
- Udonis Haslem issues strong statement on Miami Heat trying to avoid ‘silly’ play-in tournament
- Jimmy Butler calls reporter ‘sorry a-s’ for asking if Miami Heat are worried about tough remainder of schedule
- Jimmy Butler admits he’s ‘praying and hoping’ that Miami Heat are going to play their best basketball at right time
- Bam Adebayo claims he deserves DPOY consideration: ‘I float under the radar because I’m not a big name in this NBA’
- Jimmy Butler gets game ball for making NBA history after Miami Heat beat Charlotte Hornets
Erik Spoelstra Says Undisclosed Anger Helped Hassan Whiteside Dominate Late vs. Knicks
- Updated: March 31, 2019
In the Heat’s Saturday night victory at Madison Square Garden, Whiteside delivered a strong performance that was reportedly fueled by anger that the veteran refused to discuss after the game.
In two recent contests, Whiteside recorded just five minutes of playing time. On Saturday, he played the entire fourth quarter in a 100-92 victory over the New York Knicks. He scored 12 points during the final period, helping him finish the game with a double-double performance of 17 points and 13 rebounds.
“He got angry. When he plays to that intensity level, he’s a totally different player. A lot of that defense down the stretch was Hassan really covering ground, communicating, protecting the rim. He was playing with great force.”
Spoelstra’s comments helped offer an explanation for the performance, but Whiteside declined the opportunity:
“I don’t want to talk about it. I’m glad we got the win. Came in, played hard.”
The limited playing time that Whiteside has recently seen hasn’t resulted in the same kind of disruption that has been displayed in the past from the veteran big man. When asked about why he’s kept quiet, he indicated the presence of his son:
“My [young] son. He brings me a peace I never had. He keeps me from overthinking. He don’t care if I had 20 and 20, a triple double, if I played one minute [or] if I played 30 minutes. He’s just happy to see me.”
Whiteside’s contributions over the final six games of the regular season could help determine if the Heat extend their season into the playoffs. Presently, they hold a one half game lead over the Orlando Magic for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
The Heat also have the opportunity to move up in the seeding, since they currently are just one game behind sixth-place Detroit. However, they face a tough battle on Monday night in Boston and then will host the Celtics just two days later in South Florida.