It took 13 stitches to close the gash on Hassan Whiteside’s right hand Tuesday night. But it may take more than that to keep Whiteside out of Thursday’s home game against the Raptors. The Heat’s $98 million center is listed as probable to play in the finale of Miami’s five-game homestand. “It’s day-to-day,” Whiteside said Wednesday afternoon in his first interview since suffering the injury. “But I’m going there with the intention to play tomorrow. I’m going to go out there, see how it feels.”
Chris Paul examined his crooked knuckles and the surgical scars that form tiny road maps on his hands. He has torn various ligaments in his thumbs and has broken bones in his fingers. He has worn casts and splints. His hands, though, are the indispensable tools of his trade, no matter how gruesome they look. “I’ve got the worst fingers,” he said.
In a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he jammed his left thumb fighting through a screen, tearing his ulnar collateral ligament — not to be confused with his radial collateral ligament, the one he tore on his right thumb training for the Olympics in 2012. Few people on the planet have firsthand knowledge of the difference between R.C.L. and U.C.L. tears. Paul is one of them. (They both hurt, he said.)
After spending several weeks squeezing a tiny rubber ball to rebuild the strength in his thumb, Paul has since returned to the court. He would like to stay there. “Just trying to keep my hands out of the way,” he said.