Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside drops out of top 10 in All-Star voting

 

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, right, and Los Angeles Clippers forward Wesley Johnson reach for a rebound during the second half of the Clippers victory over the Heat on Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Heat center Hassan Whiteside and Clippers forward Wesley Johnson reach for a rebound during L.A.’s victory over the Heat on Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Miami Heat went from having one player listed in the All-Star voting to none.

Hassan Whiteside has dropped out of the top 10 frontcourt players in the second returns of the voting, released today. Whiteside, who continues to lead the league with 14.4 rebounds per game and is fifth in the NBA with 2.22 blocks, was ninth in the first returns.

Whiteside was bumped by Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson, who is No. 10 among Eastern Conference frontcourt players with 114,759 votes. Whiteside had 72,628 votes in the first release a week ago.

The Heat fell to 11-29 – the second worst record in the NBA – after Tuesday’s 107-95 loss at Golden State.

“When he gets to the next level really impacting us winning I think the view of him and his impact will change,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said said today from Milwaukee where the Heat are preparing for Friday’s game against the Bucks.  “And he’s getting there. You saw it the other night, a great performance, the attention to detail, great energy, he was impactful and strong in the paint both ends of the court.

“Now it’s the consistency. Can you bank on that and book it every single night? And then whatever five to 10 plays more you have to make to help get your team a win. I think that’s where he is right now.”

Whiteside had 28 points and 20 rebounds against the Warriors, his third game this season, and fifth of his career, with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds.

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The top five players (three frontcourt and two guards) remained the same in both conferences.

Cleveland’s LeBron James is followed by Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and James’ teammate Kevin Love as the top three frontcourt court vote getters in the East while Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving and Chicago’s Dwyane Wade remain the top two guards.

Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Zaza Pachulia and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard top the Western Conference frontcourt while the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Houston’s James Harden have the most votes among the guards.

Russell Westbrook, who continues to average a triple double while leading the league in scoring with 31.0 ppg, remains third among Western Conference guards.

For the first time ever, NBA players and basketball media will join fans in selecting the starters. Fans will account for 50 percent of the vote, while all current players and a media panel will account for 25 percent each.  Player and media voting will begin next week, with each voter completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from both conferences.

The All-Star Game is Feb. 19 in New Orleans.

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