2018 NBA playoffs live: What will the Heat do with Hassan Whiteside?
The first round of the NBA playoffs continues today with Game 2 in the Miami-Philadelphia and San Antonio-Golden State series. Follow along here for the latest analysis and commentary from The Post’s NBA reporter Tim Bontemps, and ask him questions in the comments section.
There are two things to watch in the opening game of tonight’s NBA playoff doubleheader between the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers: how much Hassan Whiteside plays, and how effective he is when he does.
Whiteside was dreadful in Game 1 on Saturday night, scoring two points on 1-for-4 shooting with two turnovers in 12 minutes. Most importantly, Whiteside was minus-16, with much of that coming in Philadelphia’s game-changing run to start the third quarter that put the Sixers ahead for good.
After the game, Whiteside said he had faith in the coaching staff, but there have been trust issues between him and Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra for some time now. The blame for those issues lies with Whiteside, who has proven to be as unreliable as everyone thought he might be when Miami signed him to a four-year max contract two years ago.
Now, the goal for the Heat has to be to limit Whiteside’s minutes until Joel Embiid comes back in this series — because that is when Whiteside can have an impact. Embiid has already been ruled out of Game 2, however, so Whiteside’s role should be limited Monday night. How limited, and what happens if Spoelstra makes it really limited bears watching — not just for this series, but also as a prelude to a potential move away from Whiteside this summer (if Miami can find a taker for him).
Monday’s schedule (all times Eastern)
- Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers, 8 p.m. (TNT)
- San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
Hop into the comments section below starting at 7 p.m. to chat with The Post’s Tim Bontemps about all of your NBA questions.