Although he’s averaging about two fewer points (15.7 per game) and two fewer shots per game than he did during the Heat’s 11-30 start, Whiteside is shooting better from the field (57.2 percent) and better at the free throw line (71.8 percent) and has posted the fifth-highest plus/minus rating (+142) among the league’s 94 centers over the Heat’s current 23-6 run. Through Miami’s first 41 games, Whiteside ranked 83rd among centers in plus/minus (-100). “He puts our basketball team into a different level when he plays at his highest level and when he keeps on pushing limits to get to another level,” Spoelstra said last week. “He’s had impactful games in the last six weeks that weren’t even close to a 20-20 type game. There’s not many guys like him. There really aren’t.”
April 29, 2017 | 10:01 pm EDT Update
Howard is not happy. The day after the Hawks were drop-kicked into the off-season by Washington, he used the word “pissed” three times to describe his feelings about the way both his and the team’s the season ended. “It was very difficult,” Howard said Saturday. “I want to play. I want to be out on the floor. I want to make a difference. I want to make an impact and I can’t do that on the bench.”
He denied suggestions that match-ups should have anything to do with his reduced time. He denied season-long suspicions that he struggles in the Hawks’ ball-movement, pick-and-roll offense. Physically, he said he feels “amazing.” Mentally, that’s another story.
Josh Lewenberg: Scola turns 37 tomorrow & told us he’s likely done in the NBA. The roles out there aren’t appealing, doesn’t want to keep moving his family