Hassan Whiteside was a late scratch from the Miami Heat’s lineup on Saturday night when it took on the Washington Wizards at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat announced less than an hour before tipoff that Whiteside was suffering from left hip pain, which forced him to miss his 20th game of the season.
Whiteside dealt with two separate bone bruises in his left knee earlier this season that forced him to miss 18 games. He also missed the Heat’s game in Detroit on Feb. 3 with a stomach virus.
Whiteside, who led the NBA in rebounding last season, is averaging 14.3 points and 11.8 rebounds in 47 games this season.
Rookie Bam Adebayo started in Whiteside’s place as the Heat went with a starting group that also included Goran Dragic, Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson and James Johnson.
Adebayo made his 12th start of the season as he continues to impress the Heat throughout a rookie season during which he’s averaged 7.1 points and 5.3 rebounds in 56 games coming into Saturday’s contest.
“I’ve waited to see him fatigue from the season and I’m not talking about playing games and all the minutes,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said about Adebayo after the team’s shootaround on Saturday morning.
“His routine is as rock solid as anyone and as consistent as anyone and that has not waivered since Day 1 to now. I remember in September, when we started really working with our young guys. We put together a program of an image of what a professional basketball player is playing for the Miami Heat, what that looks like, and a program to follow. And he’s followed it to the tee and it’s a big credit to Juwan Howard for being an incredible mentor to Bam and to J-Mick and Hassan and the rest of the guys on the roster. But particularly those guys because he’s here to serve, he’s here to help them. He’s been on that path before, but Juwan is as consistent as anyone so he’s a perfect example for these guys. But NBA seasons are long, and usually you start to see guys show some level of fatigue or inconsistency. That’s natural. Bam has not showed that at all.”