Why did Heat center Hassan Whiteside play just 12 minutes in Game 1? Erik Spoelstra and Whiteside discuss

Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside, right, reaches for the ball while Philadelphia 76ers’ Amir Johnson, left, defends during the first half in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

The Sixers knew they had to play Game 1 without their starting center. But the Heat weren’t planning on playing most of the game without theirs.

When Game 1 was over Saturday, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside played just 12 minutes, 26 seconds more than the injured Joel Embiid. And Embiid missed the contest after undergoing surgery to repair an orbital bone fracture two weeks ago.

Even with Philadelphia missing its All-Star center, the 28-year-old Whiteside was unable to leave his imprint on the game. The Heat’s $98 million center was in his usual starting role, but played just 12 minutes to finish with two points on 1-of-4 shooting, six rebounds and two blocks in a 130-103 blowout loss to the Sixers to open the first-round playoff series. Continue reading “Why did Heat center Hassan Whiteside play just 12 minutes in Game 1? Erik Spoelstra and Whiteside discuss”

If the regular season is any indication, the Heat-76ers playoff series will be close … very close

The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade celebrates with the crowd after scoring the winning basket in the final seconds against the Philadelphia 76ers at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tuesday. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS)

MIAMI — Sometimes the best way to predict the future is to study the past.

What’s going to happen in this first-round playoff series between the Heat and 76ers? Let’s look at what happened in the regular season when the two teams faced off. Continue reading “If the regular season is any indication, the Heat-76ers playoff series will be close … very close”

What to know about tonight’s game: Heat look to move closer to clinching sixth in East vs. Knicks

Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk (9) looks to pass the ball as New York Knicks center Kyle O’Quinn (9) defends during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Miami. The Heat won the game 119-98. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

MIAMI HEAT AT NEW YORK KNICKS

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Madison Square Garden, New York

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WRTO 98.3 FM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 43-36, New York 27-51

Line: Miami favored by nine points

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Heat

F: Josh Richardson

F: James Johnson

C: Hassan Whiteside

G: Tyler Johnson

G: Goran Dragic

Knicks

F: Michael Beasley

F: Lance Thomas

C: Kyle O’Quinn

G: Trey Burke

G: Tim Hardaway Jr.

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery). Even though Dwyane Wade (right elbow, left wrist), Goran Dragic (left knee, left ankle) and James Johnson (left ankle) missed Wednesday’s win over the Hawks with minor injuries, they are not listed on the injury report for Friday’s game. … The Knicks are 4-23 over their past 27 games. … New York is 4-19 since Kristaps Porzingis went down with a season-ending knee injury. … The Knicks are ranked 23rd out of 30 teams in defensive rating this season, but they have posted the league’s worst defensive rating over the past 23 games without Porzingis. … The Heat have posted a 13-8 record since the All-Star break, with five of those losses coming in overtime. … Miami is ranked sixth in defensive rating this season, allowing 103.6 points per 100 possessions. … Since Dwyane Wade was traded to the Heat on Feb. 8, Miami’s bench has averaged a league-high 48.1 points per game. … The Heat, which have already clinched a playoff spot, enters Friday in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. … The Heat have won two of their three matchups with the Knicks this season, including a 119-98 victory on March 21 in Miami.

[Health, not seeding, is most important for Heat entering playoffs, no matter the opponent]

[Everybody in Miami Heat locker room is rooting for Rodney McGruder]

[What is Kelly Olynyk’s secret weapon when it comes to success? The answer may surprise you]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

When do Heat playoff tickets go on sale? All of the information you need to know

The Miami Heat’s James Johnson, left, guards the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James in the first quarter at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS)

MIAMI — Tickets for the first three games of the Heat’s first-round NBA playoff series will go on sale at Heat.com, Ticketmaster.com, and at all Ticketmaster outlets Friday at 10 a.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the AmericanAirlines Arena box office beginning Monday at 10 a.m. There will be an eight-ticket maximum per purchase.

“White Hot” will be the theme for the Heat’s playoff run, with fans encouraged to wear white to playoff games played at AmericanAirlines Arena. Continue reading “When do Heat playoff tickets go on sale? All of the information you need to know”

What to know about tonight’s game: A day after clinching playoff spot, Heat travel to face Hawks again

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, left, drives past Atlanta Hawks guard Tyler Dorsey during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Miami. The Heat won 101-98. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI HEAT AT ATLANTA HAWKS

When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta

TV/Radio: Fox Sports Sun/WAXY 790AM, WRTO 98.3 FM (Spanish)

Records: Miami 42-36, Atlanta 22-56

Line: Miami favored by 8.5 points

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Heat

F: James Johnson

F: Josh Richardson

C: Hassan Whiteside

G: Tyler Johnson

G: Goran Dragic

Hawks

F: Taurean Prince

F: John Collins

C: Miles Plumlee

G: Damion Lee

G: Isaiah Taylor

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery). … Atlanta is expected to be without Kent Bazemore (right knee bone bruise), Malcolm Delaney (left ankle sprain), Jaylen Morris (left ankle sprain) and Dennis Schröder (left ankle sprain, bone bruise). … The Hawks own the worst record in the Eastern Conference and are 2-12 over their past 14 games. … Atlanta has eight rookies on its roster, led by former Cardinal Newman High standout John Collins. Collins is averaging 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds this season. … The Heat have posted a 12-8 record since the All-Star break, with five of those losses coming in overtime. … Since Dwyane Wade was traded to the Heat on Feb. 8, Miami’s bench has averaged a league-high 47.2 points per game. … Heat center Kelly Olynyk is two minutes and 21 seconds away from earning his $1 million bonus for playing at least 1,700 minutes during the regular season. … Miami, which clinched a playoff spot Tuesday, enters Wednesday in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. … The Heat have won two of their three matchups with the Hawks this season, including Tuesday’s 101-98 win in Miami.

[Five takeaways: Heat clinch playoff spot, move up to sixth in East with comeback win over Hawks]

[A look at the rotation Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is expected to stick with for the playoffs]

[No foul on Dwyane Wade’s final shot Saturday? Heat move on after Last Two Minute report]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

What led Hassan Whiteside to go on postgame rant Saturday? Plus, Heat fine Whiteside for comments detrimental to team

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside talks with assistant coach Juwan Howard during the third quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, March 31, 2018. The Nets won, 110-109, in overtime. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/TNS)

MIAMI — Hassan Whiteside has hinted at his frustration with his diminished playing time this season. But he was loud and clear on that subject Saturday night.

“Man, it’s annoying. Why we matching up?,” Whiteside said after the Miami Heat’s 110-109 overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets. “We got one of the best centers in the league. Why we matching up? A lot of teams don’t have a good center. They’re going to use their strength. It’s bull—-. It’s really bull—-, man. There’s a lot of teams that could use a center. [Expletive]. That’s bull—-.” Continue reading “What led Hassan Whiteside to go on postgame rant Saturday? Plus, Heat fine Whiteside for comments detrimental to team”

Was Tuesday the final game between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade?

The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (3) and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James hug after the Heat defeated the Cavs, 98-79, at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/TNS)

MIAMI — At the end of the Heat’s blowout win over the Cavaliers on Tuesday night, LeBron James walked over and embraced former teammate and close friend Dwyane Wade.

Since entering the league together as top picks in the 2003 draft, James and Wade have shared plenty of moments. Whether it’s facing off as young players, winning two titles together in Miami or reuniting in Cleveland, their relationship has included a lot of different phases.

But the hug at the end of Tuesday’s game was special because it could be the final time they share a basketball court as NBA players, with the 36-year-old Wade non-committal about playing past this season. Continue reading “Was Tuesday the final game between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade?”

What to know about tonight’s game: Will Heat find a way to slow down LeBron James and Cavaliers?

Dwyane Wade and LeBron James will face off Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS AT MIAMI HEAT

When: Tuesday, 8 p.m.

Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami

TV/Radio: TNT/WAXY 790AM, WRTO 98.3 FM (Spanish)

Records: Cleveland 44-29, Miami 39-35

Line: Cavaliers favored by 3.5 points

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Cavaliers

G: LeBron James

F: Larry Nance Jr.

C: Kevin Love

G: George Hill

G: Jose Calderon

Heat

F: Josh Richardson

F: James Johnson

C: Bam Adebayo

G: Tyler Johnson

G: Goran Dragic

Scouting report: Miami will be without Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery). Hassan Whiteside (left hip flexor strain) is also listed as out for Tuesday’s game against Cleveland. … Cleveland will be without Jeff Green (illness), Kyle Korver (excused absence, not with team) and Cedi Osman (left hip strain). … The Cavaliers enter on a five-game winning streak. … LeBron James is averaging 34.4 points on 61.5 percent shooting to go with 9.6 rebounds and 11.2 assists during Cleveland’s five-game winning streak. … Also during the Cavaliers’ five-game winning streak, the team is averaging 122.2 points on 51.8 percent shooting from the field. … Cleveland has now scored at least 120 points in a franchise-record tying four consecutive games. … The Heat enter on a two-game losing skid. … Miami has posted a 9-7 record since the All-Star break, with four of those losses coming in overtime. … The Heat enter on a season-high six-game home winning streak, including 9-1 in their past 10 in Miami. … The Heat and Cavaliers have already faced off twice this season, with Cleveland winning both of those games — the Cavaliers beat the Heat 108-97 in Cleveland on Nov. 28 and the Cavaliers beat the Heat 91-89 in Cleveland on Jan. 31.

[Behind the numbers: A look at how the Heat have played since the All-Star break, and why it’s better than their record shows]

[Heat set to host LeBron James and Cavaliers with unusual predicament looming: Is No. 7 in East better than No. 6?]

[Want more Heat news sent directly to your Facebook feed? Make sure to like our Heat Facebook page]

Heat set to host LeBron James and Cavaliers with unusual predicament looming: Is No. 7 in East better than No. 6?

INDIANAPOLIS — The good news is the Heat are coming back to Miami for a four-game homestand. The bad news is they are about to face one of the hottest teams in the NBA.

The Heat return home — on Monday after a mechanical issue with their team plane forced them to stay in Indianapolis on Sunday night — from a winless two-game trip to face LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Tuesday. As bad as Miami has been on the road (1-11 in past 12 road games), the Heat have been dominant at home recently with wins in nine of their past 10 games played at AmericanAirlines Arena. Continue reading “Heat set to host LeBron James and Cavaliers with unusual predicament looming: Is No. 7 in East better than No. 6?”

A strength in numbers? Here’s why Heat believe their balanced offensive attack is a key to their success

Miami Heat’s Tyler Johnson (8), James Johnson, second from left, Kelly Olynyk (9) and Josh Richardson (0) talk on the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Miami. The Heat won 129-102. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Heat believe there’s a strength in numbers.

Not the number of points scored, but the number of players who are a threat to score. Miami’s balanced offensive attack features a league-high nine players averaging double-digit points this season (including injured guard Dion Waiters). Continue reading “A strength in numbers? Here’s why Heat believe their balanced offensive attack is a key to their success”