Hassan Whiteside has been told by Heat to wear knee brace at every game
Back in early January, Hassan Whiteside, against medical advice, removed his knee brace in the middle of a Miami Heat game. This did not sit well with head coach Erik Spoelstra, who insisted that his prized center wear his protection at all times moving forward.
Rightfully so, knee injuries always raise a red flag, especially for big men. And with Whiteside’s high usage rate for the Heat, reinjuring — knock on wood — his knee is always a looming threat.
As such, the instruction was recently emphasized to Whiteside by the team, according to a tweet by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Whiteside said he has been told to put his knee brace back on. He had tried to play one game without it and was told it would be otherwise going forward.
In 43 games for the Heat this season, Whiteside has been averaging 14.0 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game. Such numbers are a step back from his best year last season as Spoelstra has elected to play the matchup game more often, resulting in Whiteside being benched for an extended period.
Fortunately for Miami, rookie Bam Adebayo has proven that he can step up when counted upon. His ability to keep up with smaller and quicker opponents, while being a dynamo underneath the basket, greatly patches up Whiteside’s shortcoming.
The Heat have slipped a bit these past few weeks. They now sit at the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 32-30 record — a good 2.5 games ahead of the ninth-place Detroit Pistons.