The NBA playoffs 2016 has witnessed lots of injuries starting from the Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry and now the Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside and Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas.
Heat’s center Hassan Whiteside suffered a right knee sprain early in the second quarter and was immediately brought to the locker room. His X-ray result came back negative but he was still unable to be back for the rest of the game. Also, there is no clear details if Whiteside will be playing in Game 4.
If Whiteside misses Game 4, it will really be a big problem for the Miami Heat. His dominance in both ends are undoubtedly irreplaceable. His playoff rival, Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, also left the game with injury. However, Valanciunas injury seemed to be less serious compared to Whiteside.
Heat big men Udonis Haslem, Amare Stoudemire and Josh McRoberts should step up in order to fill the hole that Whiteside will be leaving for the team. They should exert more effort under the basket especially if Valanciunas will be back in Game 4. The Raptors’ center is having a monstrous performance in the playoff series and Whiteside is the only player on Miami’s roster who has the ability to stop him.
The Official Toronto Raptors Media Relations revealed on a Twitter post that the Raptors center will miss the remainder of the series against the Miami Heat.
According to Yahoo Sports, Valanciunas will either be replaced by Bismack Biyombo or Luis Scola depending on coach Dwane Casey’s decision on whom will be working to come off the bench. Biyombo and Scola will be a big factor in the Toronto Raptors’ aggressiveness under the basket since they are considered as one of the league’s best back up big men this year.
It is undeniable that Whiteside and Valuncianas are big factors for both teams especially for those who will be advancing in the Eastern Conference finals. Heat and Raptors need to have their full roster in order to match the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are now waiting in the Eastern finals after sweeping the Atlanta Hawks in their playoff series.
Photo courtesy: Logopedia/Wikimedia Commons