Although he’s averaging about two fewer points (15.7 …

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.”
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June 26, 2017 | 4:33 pm EDT Update
After the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft, team President Magic Johnson said Russell played well but stressed that he needed a leader as his point guard. Given that Johnson is one of the greatest ever to play the position, the sting might have really hurt Russell. But his turbulent time in Los Angeles is over, so the only voices Russell are listening to are in Brooklyn. “It’s good to be here. I can’t really control that, what they say,” Russell said Monday. “I’m gone. It’s the past. I’m here now. It’s irrelevant, honestly.”
“I think everybody’s going to question what happened in the past with the whole Nick Young so forth,” Marks said. “But as I said before, I’m not really concerned about that, because I think if any one of us looked in our little dark secret of closets there would be things that we would be embarrassed about and wish we could take back. So again, I’m going to bet on this group, from Kenny, the coaching staff, they’ve done a terrific, terrific job of developing these guys.”
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