Center Hassan Whiteside, poised to hit free agency in the summer, is the biggest weapon for the Heat when opponents utilize smaller lineups against them, according to Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald. Whiteside had 25 points and 15 rebounds when Miami staged a second-half rally on Sunday against the Rockets, who tried to play small ball against them, Skolnick continues. “That’s the thing with Hassan, he’s a conventional center but he’s a mobile center,” point guard Mario Chalmers told the team’s beat reporters. “He’s able to move, get blocks, get out on the perimeter if he wants to. So [small-ball] plays into our hands a little bit.” Veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade concurs that the Heat can handle the small-ball strategies by unleashing Whiteside, Skolnick adds. “I’m sure there will be moments where they’re gonna get us on it, and it’s gonna affect us, but we can’t take him off the floor,” Wade said to Skolnick. “He means so much to our defense.”
In other news regarding the Heat:
- Backup center and trade candidate Chris Andersen did not play in the first three games but Spoelstra anticipates that he’ll soon get opportunities, Winderman adds in the same piece. “We’re not going to, on every night, suit up every center. That’s not an indictment on anybody,” Spoelstra said. “That’s not a storyline at all, it really isn’t. He practiced [Monday] and he’ll be ready, and when his number’s called, he’ll produce, as we have full confidence in that.”
- All but one of the six players the Heat released during the preseason have joined their D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, tweets Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Greg Whittington, Keith Benson, Briante Weber, Corey Hawkins and Tre Kelley are all on the Skyforce’s training camp roster. The only released player not to join the Skyforce is veteran point guard John Lucas III. Miami claimed the D-League rights to Whittington, Benson, Weber and Hawkins through the affiliate player rule, while the Heat already had the D-League rights to Kelley.