With their playoff spot all but clinched, the Miami Heat have a lot to look forward to. However, that is not the story surrounding the Heat at the moment after Hassan Whiteside went on an expletive-laden rant following an overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets over the weekend.
The team has since fined Whiteside, and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra made his feelings regarding the outburst known, but it stands to reason that there are still grievances that need to be ironed out.
Luckily for the Heat, they have one of the most seasoned veterans in the NBA sitting in their locker room in Dwyane Wade. On Monday, the three-time NBA champion expressed his support for the disgruntled big man without taking sides on the matter.
Wade on Whiteside: "When he’s engaged and into it and wants to do what Hassan does he’s one of the most dominant centers in our game. No one does it with blocks, triple doubles with blocks."
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) April 2, 2018
Anyone who has watched Whiteside at his best knows exactly what Wade is talking about. Despite missing several stretches of the 2017-18 campaign to injury, the 7-foot center has managed to average a double-double this season with 14.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game.
Still, while there have been many games where Whiteside has shown the true heights of his potential, he has failed to perform night in and night out.
This is not the first time Whiteside has expressed frustration over his role in Miami. Hopefully this latest outburst leads to Whiteside working to prove himself both on and off the court. If he manages to regain focus and commit himself to his in-game performance, the Heat could be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.