Welcome to the Hassan Whiteside Show.
After throwing down 23 points and 16 rebounds on 10-for-13 shooting in a 104-90 road victory over the Clippers on Sunday, the question becomes whether the 25-year-old Miami Heat center can sustain his sensational play of late.
Over his last five games, he’s averaging 12.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks with a jaw-dropping 73-percent shooting. Prorated to 36 minutes, those numbers spike to 20.0 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 5.0 blocks. Last night also marked the first time he started the third quarter, a period where Miami has struggled immensely this season.
“I didn’t know until like the last 40 seconds until the third quarter,” Whiteside said on Sun Sports after his breakout performance in Los Angeles. “Birdman and coach came up to me and told me I was starting the third quarter.”
The game was altered immediately upon Whiteside’s entrance midway through the first period with the Heat down 19-8. Birdman finished with a point-differential of minus-14 while Whiteside was a plus-26, equating to a wild 40-point swing from one Heat center to another.READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Boy Airlifted After Being Bitten By Family Dog
A towering presence with a 9-foot-5 standing reach, Whiteside took part in an incredible four-year journey to get to this point, including several stints in the NBA Development League and overseas opportunities in both China and Lebanon. The hunger with which he plays the game is apparent.
“I got a chip on my shoulder,” Whiteside said. “I mean every team in the NBA said no to me so, especially [the Clippers]. I couldn’t even get a training camp invite. The Clippers thought it was a good idea, Doc said no. I tried to get a workout in, Doc said no.
“I’m going to always come in with a chip on my shoulder.”
Asked how he can sustain his impactful performance on a team clawing to get back to .500, Whiteside kept it simple.
“Never settle and just keep building on it.”MORE NEWS: Trainer's Room Busy As Heat, Celtics Prepare For Game 4
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