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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hassan Whiteside admits minutes reduction is ‘frustrating’

Hassan Whiteside

Hassan Whiteside says the reduction in his minutes this season has been frustrating to deal with.

Whiteside went into last season having signed a four-year, $98 million contract extension over the summer. He responded by averaging 17 points, a league-leading 14.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in 32 minutes per game. Whiteside had finally arrived after bouncing around the NBA’s Developmental League and leagues overseas.

While Whiteside has remained productive this season, he has had to do so in fewer minutes — under 26 per game. The Heat signed Kelly Olynyk to a four-year deal during the offseason and drafted Bam Adebayo No. 14 overall in last year’s draft.

Those additions have taken a toll on Whiteside’s time on the court, and he admitted this season has been a frustrating one.

“I’m not going to lie. It’s frustrating,” Whiteside told The Miami Herald. “It’s nothing I can really do about it. Just keep a positive attitude. Coach is going to try to do what’s best for the team. He just wants to win. If I am playing 10 less minutes than I played last year, there isn’t much I can do about it.”

Whiteside also noted the logjam in the front court is by design from the team’s management.

“That’s what the GM wanted,” whiteside continued. “Pat Riley drafted Bam Adebayo. Kelly Olynyk, they gave him a big contract. That’s what they wanted, they wanted more people in the frontcourt. That’s what the Heat wanted.”

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra has been experimenting with different lineup combinations in an effort to find a formula that works best. Despite an uneven role this season, Whiteside is still posting averages of 14.2 points, 12 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.

Leading up to the NBA’s trade deadline, there were rumors of Whiteside potentially being traded to the Bucks. A DeAndre Jordan-for-Hassan Whiteside swap was also reportedly discussed. With neither scenario having materialized, Whiteside will likely play a part in whether Miami holds on to (or improves) its current eighth place standing in the Eastern Conference.

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