Depending on his recovery time and the Heat’s playoff success, impending free agent Hassan Whiteside may have played his last game with Miami, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Whiteside suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee in the Game 3 loss to the Raptors. He is officially listed as day to day, but the Heat have no idea when Whiteside will be healthy enough to play again. “Where my mind was, where Hassan’s mind was, that’s about the best news we could have,” said coach Erik Spoelstra. “He’s going to be doing treatment, a lot of rest.”
It’s a disappointing development not only for the Heat, but also for the 26-year-old center, who is trying to make the case for a maximum contract this summer. The Raptors will also be without their starting center for the rest of the series, as Jonas Valanciunas has been diagnosed with a sprained right ankle.
There’s more playoff news out of Miami:
- Veteran small forward Gerald Green, who is also headed for free agency, replaced rookie Justise Winslow in the rotation for Saturday’s game, Jackson writes in the same piece. Green scored eight points in 21 minutes, while Winslow never left the bench. “It’s the coach’s decision,” Winslow said afterward. “He’s going to try to put the best group of guys out there to try to win. Whether I’m out there or not, I’m going to stay positive and stay ready.”
- Dwyane Wade is trying to remain philosophical about the misfortune that has cost the Heat two of their top big men and placed a greater scoring burden on him, relays Michael Lee of The Vertical. “We’re without one of the best players to ever play the game in Chris Bosh,” Wade said. “Right now, we don’t know about Hassan, who is a big part of what we do. That doesn’t mean we still don’t have a series to play, and Toronto ain’t going to care. No one cares.”
- Tyler Johnson had a hard time sticking to a gradual recovery plan when he was rehabbing from rotator cuff surgery, according to Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. Johnson, who has returned for the playoffs, snuck into the Heat’s practice facility one night in March for some unauthorized shooting. “We mentioned early on that his greatest strength, in this case, could be his greatest weakness: his relentlessness,” Spoelstra said. “We couldn’t afford to skip a step and then have a setback. That’s the worst thing that could happen. We had to stay on him all the time.”