The Miami Heat continues to struggle and is currently on a three-game losing streak. Hassan Whiteside demands more touches in clutch situations, believing that he deserves it as the face of the franchise.
In the recent free agency, the Heat decided to make Hassan Whiteside their top priority, forcing Dwyane Wade to leave and join the Chicago Bulls. Whiteside signed a four-year, $98 million deal and automatically became the new face of the franchise.
Despite losing Wade, Heat president Pat Riley believed that Whiteside was “worth the investment” of a max contract. Whiteside continues to impress with the Heat and is currently averaging 18.1 points and 14.8 rebounds.
However, their recent struggle shows that the Heat needs more from their franchise player. Coach Erik Spoelstra wants Whiteside to exert more effort on both ends of the floor.
“I want him to dominate at the rim and that’s on both ends of the court,” Spoelstra said. “If he does not dominate at the rim, in the paint, we don’t have a chance to win. That’s what great players have to shoulder. That’s the responsibility of a great player.
HASSAN WHITESIDE WANTS THE BALL MORE
However, Hassan Whiteside felt that he should hold the ball more often for the Heat, especially in clutch situations. In their double overtime loss to the Orlando Magic, the 27-year-old big man expressed his sentiments.
“They say I’m the franchise player. I would think I should get more,” Whiteside responded when asked if he thinks he gets enough touches late in games. “But, I don’t know, man. I don’t think so, to be honest. Coach is going to coach.”
Per NBA.com, Whiteside ranks 27th among all NBA centers in overall touches with 44.5 per game. He also ranks eighth on the Heat in fourth quarter field goal attempts with 2.4. In clutch situations, Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson rank 1st and 2nd in field goal attempts, respectively, while Whiteside’s only at third.
At some point, Hassan Whiteside knows he can do more for the team in tight situations. However, Spoelstra explained that the Heat’s offense doesn’t rely most on Whiteside because of fatigue. In their succeeding games, Spoelstra plans to give Whiteside more rest earlier in the game and use him as their main man in clutch situations.
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