Hassan Whiteside rewarded for recent play with Eastern Conference Player of the Week award

Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside walks off with his fourth foul during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Miami. The Trail Blazers won 115-104. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI — Teammates and coaches have praised Hassan Whiteside for his recent play. The Heat’s $98 million center has been consistent and impactful on both ends of the court.

Now, Whiteside has been rewarded for his recent effort. He was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday for the period ending Sunday.

Whiteside averaged 20 points on 73 percent shooting and 13.7 rebounds as the Heat recorded a 2-1 record last week. The 27-year-old also averaged 2.7 blocks per game and limited opponents to 46.2 percent shooting within six feet of the basket — 13.5 percent worse than their normal field goal percentage within that range.

It’s the first time Whiteside has earned the honor in his NBA career, and he’s the second Heat player to earn the honor this season. Guard Dion Waiters was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week in January.

Waiters and Whiteside are the first Heat players not named Chris Bosh, LeBron James or Dwyane Wade to earn the honor since Shaquille O’Neal was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Dec. 19, 2004.

Whiteside is averaging 16.7 points and a league-leading 14.2 rebounds this season. He ranks fourth in the NBA with 48 double-doubles.

[Hassan Whiteside in foul mood after Portland loss: ‘I know the NBA rules’]

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