Miami Heat big man Hassan Whiteside commented on the fact that head coach Erik Spoelstra has not been using him on post-ups in the playoffs.
Whiteside, who averaged 2.9 post-up possessions per game during the regular season, has posted up just once during the first three postseason games. He ended up turning the ball over on this possession, which became one of seven he has committed in the playoffs.
During their current series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami has averaged 3.3 post-ups per game. They averaged 5.0 during the regular season. For comparison, San Antonio Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge has averaged 10.7 post-up possessions per game during the playoffs.
The 28-year-old Whiteside averaged 9.1 paint touches per game this year for the Heat, which ranked third overall in the Eastern Conference. But against the Sixers, the 7-footer has averaged just 5.3 paint touches.
He averaged 0.96 points per paint touch during the regular season, which ranked No. 7 overall (minimum: 400 paint touches) among high-volume players. It’s dropped against Philadelphia to 0.56 points per paint touch.
It’s worth noting that his accuracy from within five feet of the basket this season was the lowest mark since he was a rookie. According to Cleaning The Glass, however, this is still where Whiteside has generated more than half of his overall shot attempts.
As noted by VICE’s Michael Pina, the Heat have had a significantly better offensive rating when Kelly Olynyk is on the court. Olynyk has a more even distribution for his shot selection between attempts near the rim (34 percent), midrange shots (25 percent) and three-pointers (41 percent) for Miami.
Olynyk’s versatility allows them to avoid the terrifying defensive presence of Joel Embiid in the paint. The Heat were 6-for-18 from within five feet of the rim during his postseason debut.
Miami is 36-of-74 (48.6 percent) near the basket during the playoffs, which ranks last among all teams. They have scored just 0.43 points per paint touch in the postseason, which is significantly worse than their rate (0.83) during the regular season.
Olynyk and Dwyane Wade are the only Heat players who have even made a post-up basket against Philadelphia. Their inability to get a basket near the rim has allowed the Sixers to have a huge advantage in their matchup.