Hassan Whiteside ‘Revenge Tour’ Continues Versus Kings


It’s been a surprisingly good road trip for the Miami Heat, pulling even at 2-2 and with a chance for a victory against the Sacramento Kings (16-22) on Friday night. While Dwyane Wade might not be available, Hassan Whiteside – seeking some satisfaction against the team that drafted and waived him – will definitely be in attendance.

Whiteside is clearly upset at a number of teams that passed up on the chance to sign him over the past few seasons. But as he told Yahoo!Sports Marc J. Spears, he’s particularly angry at the Kings:

While the comments may have gone to far (in this writer’s opinion), the truth is that Miami needs their young center to continue developing and being a factor on the court. Whiteside started in Wednesday’s loss to the Golden State Warriors and you can expect that to be the case tonight, as well; he wasn’t dominant but his 10 points and 12 rebounds kept that game fron getting real ugly in a hurry.

Miami was missing the presence of Wade as players strangely fell short on several scoring opportunities at the rim. Wade hasn’t been ruled out completely but his comments to ESPN would indicate that caution will be exercised:

"“I’ve realized in this situation that you never know what to expect. But I tried to be smart this time, and when I felt a little pull, I tried to come out. Last time, it didn’t feel bad, and I was out two weeks, so knock on wood it’s not like that.”"

That leaves the scoring load to fall on Chris Bosh and Luol Deng. While Bosh will likely dominate his matchup with starting power forward Jason Thompson, Deng’s got his hands full containing Rudy Gay, who’s been efficient this year while logging 20.4 points per game.

Of course the battle in the middle – between Whiteside and the talented DeMarcus Cousins – is the one that will likely define the game.

If Wade does sit out the game, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra may elect to start rookie Shabazz Napier (as he did on Wednesday) alongside Mario Chalmers. But Napier was mostly ineffective, on offense and defense, and we could see Norris Cole, James Ennis or even Tyler Johnson get the nod. It’s also worth looking to see if Danny Granger can bounce back from his recent struggles. After a strong series of games in December, Granger hasn’t been able to hit his shots and is no longer providing the floor spacing that was a factor during his brief resurgence.

Check back with All U Can Heat for a full recap, post-game grades, analysis and more.

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