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In what should certainly be considered a coming out party for the Miami Heat center, Hassan Whiteside had himself a game in the nationally televised contest against the Bulls. He entered the game at the 4:48 mark in the first quarter, and before he was replaced at the 9:40 mark of the 2nd, he had already blocked 5 shots, including this great block against Nikola Mirotic, which Hassan followed up by running the floor and finishing at the other end.
Whiteside continued his defensive attack in the 2nd half, and his triple-double was made official when Whiteside pinned a Pau Gasol lay-up against the glass; the play was reviewed and it was upheld at a block. In all, Whiteside finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 blocks to notch his first career triple-double. His 12 blocks are a Miami Heat franchise record as well as a league-high for the season.
Whiteside has been a great story for the Heat this season who are in an obvious state of transition after losing LeBron James in the offseason. He came out of Marshall in the 2010 NBA Draft, picked 33rd overall by the Kings. During his one season at Marshall, he set a freshman NCAA record in blocks, beating 7’7” Shawn Bradley’s mark from the 1990-91 season. Whiteside played just two minutes of his rookie season for Sacramento, then appeared in 18 games for the Kings the following season.
He then spent time with three different D-League squads before playing in Lebanon and then later China. In 2014, Whiteside entered training camp with the Memphis Grizzlies before being waived by the team before the start of the regular season. He was briefly re-signed by the Grizzlies on November 19th, but was waived just two days later.
Miami signed Whiteside on November 24th, initially assigning him to the D-League. He quickly made a place for himself on the Heat, and on January 4th, he recorded his first career double-double in a win against the Nets. Since January 1st, Whiteside has averaged 12.1 points and 8 rebounds per game for Miami and started three straight games before injuring his ankle. Whiteside looks like he could be headed back to the Heat’s starting line-up after today’s performance off the bench.
Whiteside was obviously in good spirits after the game, joking, “I’m just trying to get my 2k rating up,” referring the video game NBA 2k15. Surely his block rating will have increased once the new roster updates are released.