Heat Notes: Johnson, Whiteside, Deng

Joe Johnson has enjoyed success since coming to the Heat and he cites Erik Spoelstra‘s offense as a factor for choosing to come to Miami, Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post writes. “I did my research, and [Dwyane] Wade and those guys were telling me the type of tempo they wanted to run,” Johnson said. “That was an attraction to me.”

Here’s more from Miami:

  • Hassan Whiteside had a 90-minute meeting with Spoelstra during the All-Star break, and it further solidified his relationship with his coach, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes. “We have an understanding of each other,” Whiteside said. “We talked for so long. Me and coach Spo, we worked our way up to get here. Spo is my guy.”
  • Teammates have noticed a difference in Whiteside’s attitude since the All-Star break, Jackson adds in the same piece. “[Whiteside is] more focused,” Goran Dragic said. “He’s just happy. He’s found that last step he needs in his game.” Whiteside will be an unrestricted free agent during the offseason.
  • Luol Deng, who will also be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, has impressed since the Heat moved him to the four in the starting lineup, and he acknowledged that he will probably play more at the power forward position as he continues his career, Jackson writes in the same piece. Jackson envisions a big man rotation of Whiteside, Chris Bosh and Deng next season, but he admits that there may not be enough cap space to keep both Whiteside and Deng on the roster.

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