Spoelstra On Benching Whiteside: ‘He Understands What Our Culture Is’


Just a couple of nights after grabbing 25 rebounds in a single game, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside didn’t even play 25 minutes after getting into early foul trouble in the Heat’s 99-97 loss to the Washington Wizards Friday night.

It was an off night for Whiteside, something Heat fans, frankly, haven’t seen from the upstart 7-footer.

Coach Erik Spoelstra pulled Whiteside in the first quarter after he had just two points and no rebounds after seven minutes and cameras showed him having a conversation with Whiteside on the sidelines.

Whiteside re-entered in the second quarter and earned a technical after retaliating against Marcin Gortat after a hard foul on a failed dunk attempt with 15 seconds before halftime.

Gortat did nothing wrong, it was a good hard foul to prevent Whiteside from scoring. However, Whiteside threw an elbow on the way down that got called. This, just days after Whiteside got in trouble for tackling Suns center Alex Len.

Whiteside started the second half, but didn’t get his normal minutes after being pulled with 7:35 in the third, partly because the Heat went on a 33-7 run with him out to get back in the game.

"“Basically the guys out there earned those minutes. It’s not anything more than that, and I’m not going to make it anything bigger than that. The game was turning with those guys out there, so we kept them in there.”"

[Via Jason Lieser, The Palm Beach Post]

The Heat are used to the opposite, typically making runs with Whiteside in the game. But, like I said, this was an off night for Whiteside.

Whiteside losing his tempter has been an issue lately. Maybe it’s because teams are playing his physically and he’s not getting the calls. Maybe it’s because the team is losing. Maybe it’s a bit of both. But he needs to cool his jets because throwing elbows after a simple hard foul isn’t a good look for a guy already facing “maturity issues.”

"“He’ll be fine. He understands what our culture is. That exchange is a head coach talking to his player and coaching his player. We have an opportunity now to get the heck out of here and prepare for a big game tomorrow.”"

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