Heat center Hassan Whiteside still dealing with effects of stitched-up hand laceration

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Based on Hassan Whiteside’s stats over the past few games, it doesn’t seem like his lacerated right hand is bothering him much.

In the two games the Heat’s center has played with the gash, he’s averaging 17.5 points, 14.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

But look closely and you’ll see Whiteside is not throwing down his dunks as hard as usual. With 13 stitches still in between his right middle and ring fingers, he’s not looking to make the cut worse by applying force against the rim.

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) shoots during warmups before the Heat played against the Toronto Raptors in an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 23, 2017, in Miami. Whiteside suffered a hand injury the previous week. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)

“When you got 13 stitches, man, I don’t think grabbing the rim and hanging on it when you weigh 270 is a good idea,” Whiteside said Sunday. “I don’t want to experience that.

“It’s different. It makes things a little different. But I come out here and get the two points.”

Whiteside suffered the hand injury late in Tuesday’s victory over Phoenix when he went up to block a shot and got his hand caught on the backboard. The backboard pulled Whiteside’s right middle and ring fingers apart, creating the laceration.

Despite receiving 13 stitches and his right hand still heavily bandaged and padded, Whiteside has not missed any time with the injury.

Whiteside missed three games with a similar injury when he needed 10 stitches in almost the same exact spot after slicing open his hand on the rim in a loss at Milwaukee on March 24, 2015.

“It’s a lot different,” Whiteside said of playing with his hand laceration. “But it’s something I have to deal with until it heals up. It is what it is. Nobody is going to feel sorry for me on the other team. I expect them to come out and compete like crazy.”

[Erik Spoelstra: Heat ‘tend to like Frank Martin players’ … just look at Udonis Haslem, Rodney McGruder]

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