Spoelstra, Whiteside downplay sideline conversation

Erik Spoelstra pulled Hassan Whiteside for almost a minute in the second quarter Wednesday for a sideline conversation. (Getty Images)
Erik Spoelstra pulled Hassan Whiteside for almost a minute in the second quarter Wednesday for a sideline conversation. (Getty Images)

Was this anything?

Hassan Whiteside was playing decently well early in tonight’s Heat loss at Milwaukee, but Erik Spoelstra pulled him unexpectedly with 8:14 left in the second quarter before sending him back in 47 seconds later.

As soon as Whiteside sat down, Spoelstra knelt next to his chair and started talking to him. Both sides were evasive when asked about the conversation.

“That was just something between me and him,” said Spoelstra, who declined two follow-ups after that.
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Hassan Whiteside’s incredible free throw fix

Hassan Whiteside's free-throw shooting has gotten tremendously better thanks to a change in routine. (Getty Images)
Hassan Whiteside’s free-throw shooting has gotten tremendously better thanks to a change in routine. (Getty Images)

How often do you see something like this? Hassan Whiteside has been a dreadful free-throw shooter most of his career, but somehow seems to have fixed that in the middle of a season.

Over three partial seasons prior to this one, he shot 49.4 percent at the line. He was 52.7 percent for the first two and a half months this year, then bumped that to 61 percent from mid-January to mid-February. Over his last eight games, however, Whiteside has made a stunning 84.1 percent.
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Hassan Whiteside’s mid-range game is real

This is Plan A for Hassan Whiteside. But Plan B ain't bad, either. (Getty Images)
This is Plan A for Hassan Whiteside. But Plan B ain’t bad, either. (Getty Images)

By his own acknowledgement, the mid-range jumper is a fallback option for Hassan Whiteside, but he’s not afraid to go to it.
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Solid mini-rant by Erik Spoelstra

Erik Spoelstra loves what he's seen from the Heat the past two weeks. (Getty Images)
Erik Spoelstra loves what he’s seen from the Heat the past two weeks. (Getty Images)

Erik Spoelstra is famous for his overuse of what Twitter calls (affectionately?) Spoisms, but this was quite an impassioned string of them. This one certainly seemed meaningful than usual.

After watching his retooled team survive the Knicks for a 98-81 win with the lineup still coming together and the team still uncertain of Chris Bosh’s future, Spoelstra praised his players for pushing through everything that has gone against them lately.
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Tough decisions for Heat with Chris Bosh out

Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra have to decide how big they want to go this season, or whether it's best for the Miami Heat to start playing for next year. (Getty Images)
Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra have to decide how big they want to go this season, or whether it’s best for the Miami Heat to start playing for next year. (Getty Images)

The Heat are uncertain about Chris Bosh’s status going forward, but one thing they do know is the games will keep coming.

While it is difficult to shift focus back to basketball, Miami has no choice. The team resumes the second half of the season Friday in Atlanta, the start of three games in four nights, and must decide how to proceed.
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NBA suspends Hassan Whiteside

Whiteside (left) is suspended for elbowing Marjanovic (center) in the face. (Getty Images)
Whiteside (left) is suspended for elbowing Marjanovic (center) in the face. (Getty Images)

No surprise here: Hassan Whiteside received a one-game suspension for swinging his elbow into San Antonio center Boban Marjanovic’s face Tuesday.
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Where does Whiteside stand in Heat locker room?

Whiteside has put himself in a bad spot with the NBA and potentially broken the trust of his teammates. (Getty Images)
Whiteside has put himself in a bad spot with the NBA and potentially broken the trust of his teammates. (Getty Images)

This question has come up repeatedly since Hassan Whiteside emerged with the Heat last season: How does his immaturity go over in a veteran locker room?

It surfaced again Tuesday after Whiteside was kicked out of Miami’s loss to the Spurs for swinging his elbow into Boban Marjanovic’s face. It was his first ejection of the season, though he was tossed twice last year.
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Hassan Whiteside coming off bench tonight at Charlotte

Hassan Whiteside will come off the bench at Charlotte tonight. (Getty Images)
Hassan Whiteside will come off the bench at Charlotte tonight. (Getty Images)

The Heat will continue to start Amar’e Stoudemire at center against the Hornets, with regular starter Hassan Whiteside coming off the bench tonight in his hometown.
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Tyler Johnson at ease shifting back to natural role

Tyler Johnson transitioned back to his regular role and was key in Miami's win over the Bulls. (Getty Images)
Tyler Johnson transitioned back to his regular role and was key in Miami’s win over the Bulls. (Getty Images)

Tyler Johnson was willing to step into the starting point guard spot with Goran Dragic and Beno Udrih injured, but it pulled him into an unfamiliar role.
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Luol Deng back for Heat vs. Chicago Bulls, Hassan Whiteside out

Luol Deng expects to start tonight against the Chicago Bulls. (Getty Images)
Luol Deng expects to start tonight against the Chicago Bulls. (Getty Images)

The Heat are getting their roster back, starting with the return of Luol Deng and back-up point guard Beno Udrih. Both intend to play tonight when Miami visits the Bulls.
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