Hassan Whiteside Understands Erik Spoelstra’s Decision To Bench Him In Game 1

04.16.18 9 months ago

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Going into the Miami Heat’s first-round matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers, many NBA fans were looking forward to a feisty frontcourt battle between Joel Embiid and Hassan Whiteside, complete with all their past pettiness and animosity. That wasn’t the case in Game 1 as Embiid sat out as he continues to recover from an orbital fracture. He’s since been ruled out of Game 2 on Monday night as well.

Ostensibly, that should’ve cleared the way for Whiteside to dominate the paint against Philly. However, that didn’t happen. Instead, Whiteside was mostly ineffective in his limited playing time, scoring just two points and corralling just five rebounds in 12 minutes of action during the Heat’s 130-103 loss on Saturday.

In fact, Whiteside didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter, which was somewhat familiar territory for the big man this season. Rather than going off on another tirade about his minutes, Whiteside bit his tongue when asked about it prior to Game 2, opting instead to voice his support for head coach Erik Spoelstra’s decision-making.

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