- Report: Miami Heat ‘internally has discussed’ DeMarcus Cousins, Blake Griffin and Rudy Gay, among others
- Report: Goran Dragic to make long-awaited return tonight vs. Toronto Raptors
- Dwyane Wade issues beautiful message to Tiger Woods after horrific car accident
- Report: Miami Heat offer impactful update on statuses of Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro
- P.J. Tucker reacts in shock to Bam Adebayo’s All-Star Game snub
- Dwyane Wade leaves Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler off his All-Star reserves list
- Report: Miami Heat granted sizable disabled player exception due to Meyers Leonard’s season-ending injury
- Bam Adebayo makes it clear that he wants to become 2-time All-Star this season
- Udonis Haslem fires scathing NSFW shots at Colin Cowherd after he disrespects Miami Heat
- Miami Heat members gush over Bam Adebayo’s leadership this season: ‘You definitely hear his voice now’
Erik Spoelstra Provides Update on Hassan Whiteside’s Recovery
- Updated: December 22, 2017
What at first seemed like a minor injury has turned into a major problem for Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat. The talented big man was initially expected to be out for a week or two when he suffered a bone bruise on his left knee back in late November. However, he has now sat out for nearly a month, and there is still no timetable for his return.
There has been very little information regarding his recovery as of late. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra did update reporters before Wednesday’s matchup against the Boston Celtics, however, and said that Whiteside’s status is improving.
“He’s making progress,” Spoelstra said of Whiteside. “He’s doing a lot of conditioning. He’s doing a little bit more court work. I see that all as a great sign. And he’s feeling less pain and discomfort each day.”
The Heat have gone 6-5 in Whiteside’s absence. While players like Kelly Olynyk and rookie Bam Adebayo have helped shoulder the center’s load, it is hard to replace the 14.9 points and 12.7 rebounds per game he has averaged so far this season. Still, Adebayo has certainly proven himself in the last few weeks and will likely play a larger factor in Miami’s rotation even when Whiteside returns.
“Whatever happens, happens,” Adebayo said when asked if he believes he’s proven he belongs in the Heat’s rotation when Whiteside is healthy. “I can’t dictate that. I’m going to leave that up to coach. Whatever his move is, that’s what I got to go with.”
The University of Kentucky product has averaged 7.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in the 11 games that Whiteside has missed. While the numbers don’t jump off the page, he is growing noticeably more comfortable in his role with each passing game.
“It’s slowing down for me,” Adebayo said. “I’m starting to calm down. There’s no anxiety for me anymore. So just being out there with my teammates, communicating, and after that I get lost in the game.”
Despite the multitude of injuries the Heat have dealt with so far this season, they currently hold a 16-15 record and are just one game back of first place in the Southeast Division. If Whiteside and Miami’s other injured players are able to return soon, this team could become a true danger for the rest of the NBA.