Heat big man Hassan Whiteside is fed up with his lack of playing time, and he made that very clear on Saturday.
Whiteside played only 20 of a possible 53 minutes in Saturday’s 110-109 overtime loss to the Nets, and he was critical of the team’s coaching staff over his limited playing time in speaking to reporters after the game.
“Man, it’s annoying, you know,” Whiteside said, via Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. “Why we matching up? We got one of the best centers in the league. Why we matching up? A lot of teams don’t have a good center. …It’s bulls—. It’s really bulls—, man. There’s a lot of teams that could use a center.”
There’s a lot to digest there, but what Whiteside said wasn’t all that surprising, as he’s criticized his coaches in the past. It’s certainly understandable why he was upset as well. The Heat may have wanted to go with a smaller lineup to match up with the Nets, but that mitigated what could’ve been a huge rebounding advantage in the game. Miami outrebounded Brooklyn 51-47, but that margin could’ve been much larger had Whiteside played more.
The loss was a terrible one for the Heat, and was a big blow to their chances of winning the Southeast Division. Miami nows trails Washington by 1.5 games, and will have little room for error down the stretch.
Whiteside is currently under contract through the 2019-20 season, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see him moved in the offseason, given his body language and the team’s reluctance to give him big minutes. For the time being, though, the team will need to focus on shoring up its weaknesses heading into the playoffs.