Heat center Hassan Whiteside says he’d be getting more All-Star votes if his name wasn’t next to his stats

Clippers center Marreese Speights and Heat center Hassan Whiteside battle for a loose ball during Clippers victory over the Heat this month in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers center Marreese Speights and Heat center Hassan Whiteside battle for a loose ball during a game  this month in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

MIAMI – Miami’s Hassan Whiteside believes his numbers stack up to any center’s in the East and said if his name was not attached to his statistics, the All-Star voting “would be different.”

Whiteside is not sure why he believes there is a bias against him but he just thinks there is one.

“You put my numbers up and just don’t put a face up there I feel like the (voting) numbers would be different,” Whiteside said today following the Heat’s shoot around in preparation for tonight’s game against Houston.

“Just my honest opinion. I feel like if you put a blackout screen and just put my numbers up there people (would say), ‘Oh, man, how is he not an All-Star?’ I feel like that’s what it is. Who likes who.”

Whiteside dropped out of the top 10 frontcourt players in the second returns of the voting, released Thursday. He 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 only center with more votes than Whiteside in the first release of votes was Philadelphia’s Joel Embid.

Whiteside continues to lead the league with 14.3 rebounds per game and is fifth in blocked shots with 2.16. He is averaging 17.5 points, which is third among centers in the East.

The Heat, though, have the second worst record in the league at 11-30.

Whiteside was asked why he believes people would not vote for him.

“I feel like it’s a. … I don’t really know,” he said. “It’s one of those things I don’t really know. I don’t get caught up in that. I’m trying to get more wins for these guys. I get the All-Star questions, I know you all like to run with that story. There’s nothing I can do as far as being an All-Star.”

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Whiteside, 27, has sometimes been a target on social media after signing a $98 million contract last summer and having games where he appeared to be lacking effort. Coach Erik Spoelstra has removed Whiteside from the floor more than once this season because of his lack of energy on the floor, most notably during a game early in the season in Cleveland.

Spoelstra was asked what he wants to see out of Whiteside during the second half of the season.

“Can you put together all of it, all of the details to truly impact winning,” he said. “That will be the focus.

“Our margin for error is very thin. We’re in a lot of close games. If you want to use a multiplier effect if everybody did three or four plays better, harder with more detail more focus – we define those as the winning plays, those are the difference makers – and you multiply that throughout the rotation we would likely have more wins and sniffing at a playoff spot right now.”

Whiteside was asked if he’s had as many impact games as he would like. He’s had three games this season – and five in his three seasons with the Heat – with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds.

“You want every game to be 20, 25, 10 blocks,” he said. “I want that to be every game. Realistically speaking that’s not going to happen. Guys are scouting me very well. They watch film. They find ways to make it tough on me.”

The league groups forwards and centers in the voting, which puts centers at a disadvantage.

“I think it’s really hard for centers,” Whiteside said. “It will probably be like it was last year, probably LeBron (James) starting at center. It will probably be a guard slash forward at center.”

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