Just one night after coach Erik Spoelstra called out Hassan Whiteside’s energy in Friday’s loss to the Cavaliers, the Heat’s $98 million center responded with a solid performance against the Bulls. Whiteside finished Saturday’s loss with 20 points and eight rebounds while playing through a sore hip and knee. But most of his numbers came in the first quarter, when he recorded 11 points and five rebounds. He scored nine and grabbed three rebounds over the final three quarters. This comes after two flat performances from Whiteside to start the three-game trip. He recorded eight points in the two games preceding Saturday’s contest. Everybody was waiting to see how Whiteside would respond to Spoelstra’s strong message and it seems like, for now, the 27-year-old got the message loud and clear. “It has nothing to do with any kind of dialogue, it’s just all about development and his understanding of how important he is to this team on all levels,” Spoelstra said of Whiteside’s response. “He’s starting to see what that actually means and what that feels like. It is a big responsibility and that’s what he signed up for.”
Storyline: Spoelstra-Whiteside Dynamic