Who was not impressed by Hassan Whiteside’s courage last night against the Raptors? He decided to go to battle with his teammates at the time they needed him the most. Unfortunately the Heat struggled offensively and the Raptors got the win, but Whiteside once again showed signs of growth and toughness.
Hassan manages a double double
Even with 13 stitches in his shooting hand protected by a customized padding, Hassan managed to score 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to record his 50th double double of the season. He was the leading scorer for a Miami side that scored 33 points in the first quarter and had nothing else going the rest of the way.
The rest of the Heat struggle
Goran Dragic went 5-18 from the field for 13 points and J. Rich added 12. The absence of Dion Waiters was felt on a night like this, especially when DeRozan scored 40 points for the Raptors. James Johnson, one of the key pieces off the bench scored just 10 points on 3-14 shooting. The Heat never got it going from three point territory as well, going just 6-23 for the night.
Hassan sprained his left ankle
Late in the game Hassan sprained his left ankle and somehow found the strength to keep on playing. This was the positive takeaway from this game, the maturity and resilience that Hassan continues to display. Heat teammates and Coach Spoelstra took the chance to praise Whiteside after the game.
“Very inspiring, just to see him out there battling,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It was a physical game, he really gave us a presence in the paint.”
Goran Dragic on how proud the team was of Hassan last night.
“He was unbelievable to have an impactful game like he had with 13 stitches and at one point he twisted his ankle and he was a dominant force.”
Difficult road ahead for the Heat
The Heat play the next three games on the road against the Boston Celtics, the Detroit Pistons and the New York Knicks. Boston won the previous 3 games, Detroit is ahead 2-1 in the season series and the Knicks are 1-0 against the Heat this season.