Miami Heat 1-on-1: The team’s biggest concerns of 2018-19

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Hassan Whiteside
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Hassan Whiteside /
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MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 27: Hassan Whiteside
MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 27: Hassan Whiteside /

For today’s Miami Heat 1-on-1, two AllUCanHeat contributors discuss the lingering concerns heading into 2018-19.

Be honest: do you think Miami Heat fans are only being so critical of Hassan Whiteside because he’s on their team?

Allana Tachauer (@AllanaTachauer): No shade but Miami Heat fans are a very strange breed as of late. While the passion is certainly there, it doesn’t always trend towards positivity. In fact, recently, it seems like there are few players on the current roster that Heat Nation isn’t critical of. So although Hassan Whiteside didn’t have the best 2017-18 run, I do feel like a lot of people are blowing the issues out of proportion. Especially given that a lot of his so-called on-court struggles were due to injury, which was completely out of his control. Whiteside definitely didn’t handle his frustrations in the best of ways, and there’s no doubt that fans had reasons to be annoyed. But perhaps another fanbase wouldn’t have been as quick to judge and/or would be more open to the idea of him being able to bounce back this upcoming year. It’s comeback season, y’all.

Brandon Johnson (@bjohnsonNBA): That’s definitely part of the problem for Whiteside. I compare his struggle to that of Dwight Howard. When Howard is playing his best, he’s pretty unstoppable. He had a 30 rebound game this season and played 81 contests, but fans still latched on to the negativity around Howard because of his troubled past. I mean, it’s pretty bad when a player butts heads with all-time greats like Kobe Bryant or James Harden, but Howard spiraled in a matter of a couple seasons. Whiteside is sort of in those beginning stages of what happened during Howard’s career. His negative attitude and lack of on-court effort turned fans against him and now he has to work twice as hard to win back their admiration. Coupled with his skill set – which is anchored to the antiquated center position in the current NBA – and Whiteside is an incredibly easy target for fans who are likely upset by Miami’s lack of forward momentum as a team.