The Hassan Whiteside hype machine continues at full speed ahead.
It took a 23-point, 16-rebound breakout performance against the Clippers yesterday, but one NBA scout has already compared the young big man to one of the all-time greats. ESPN’s Michael Wallace observed the seven-footer’s dominant performance yesterday at the Staples Center, as league scouts sitting around him couldn’t believe what they were seeing from the 25-year-old Miami Heat center.
“They can’t believe it, because these are the same guys that saw him coming into the league in the draft,” Wallace said on the Big O Show on WQAM. “They saw him flame out of the league a year or so ago and go back to the [D League] and around the world and now they’re seeing a completely different version.”
“One guy was like ‘this guy is looking like a young version of David Robinson out here.'”
Robinson, a staple of the Spurs front court during the 1990s and early 2000s, is a hall-of-fame center, NBA MVP, two-time NBA champion, and 10-time NBA All-Star. Whiteside has a ways to go to reach his level but it doesn’t diminish his performance over the last few weeks, with yesterday serving as the coming-out party.
“You’ve got to give him credit,” Wallace said. “Because he did that against a front line that’s Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and that’s not a small feat.”
While it will be tough to sustain performances like this one, should we expect him to slow down when teams start to prepare for him? According to Wallace, that shouldn’t be an issue.
“The Heat don’t throw him the ball in the post and tell him to go to work,” he said. “He does all of his stuff in garbage-type situations, meaning it’s a lot of collect offensive rebounds, putbacks, and those types of things — set a pick and then run to the rim. There’s no way you can scheme against that because that’s just the kind of player he is.”
Whiteside and the Heat will look to build on Sunday’s performance as they continue their five-game road trip out west by staying in Los Angeles for a matchup against the 12-26 Lakers on Tuesday.