Tuesday 12th December 2017,
The Hoop Doctors

Hassan Whiteside Calls Left Knee Injury ‘Serious Issue,’ Wants Miami Heat to Get to Bottom of It

Hassan Whiteside Calls Left Knee Injury ‘Serious Issue,’ Wants Miami Heat to Get to Bottom of It

Hassan Whiteside

Hassan Whiteside’s left knee is acting up again, and he isn’t happy about it.

The seven-footer missed five games earlier in the season with what was deemed a bruised left knee and has played in every game since. But he’s been limited to under 25 minutes in four of the last five tilts, and the Miami Heat ruled him out altogether for Wednesday’s date with the New York Knicks.

Head coach Erik Spoelstra initially brushed off the setback as no big deal, per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman:

Whiteside, however, assumed a different stance:

He then added this prior to tipoff, per Basketball Insiders’ Michael Scotto:

At least the Heat and Whiteside are clearly on the same page, right? (They’re not.)

The Heat do, in fact, need to reach the bottom of this issue. They’re actually at their most intriguing with James Johnson as the de facto center, and the offense turns to statistical mush with Whiteside in the game.

But, including this season, Whiteside has three seasons and $76.3 million left on his deal. He can’t be viewed as damaged goods or just be warming the bench for long stretches at a time like he’s been doing. They need him on the floor, fully healthy and able to chase around opposing 5s, grab rebounds and finish out of the pick-and-roll in volume. That he’s looked a few steps slow for the past week or so is troubling. It’s also weird how divergent the messages emanating from the Heat and his mouth are at the moment.

Miami could never quite get in the same book with Chris Bosh, when he was trying to work through his blood-clot issues, and something similar is happening here. By no means is Whiteside’s situation as dire. Bosh’s problems turned out to be career-ending. Whiteside isn’t anywhere near that level. Let’s get that out of the way. But the apparent miscommunication between player and team, whether it’s the prognosis itself or their approach to addressing the media, isn’t the best look.

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