Hassan Whiteside’s left knee soreness started acting up as the Miami Heat began its current four-game road trip.
On Wednesday, it finally cost the Heat the chance to use him at all in a game.
Whiteside, who is averaging 14.9 points and 12.7 rebounds per game this season, will sit out Wednesday night’s game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Whiteside suffered a bone bruise in the ailing knee on Oct. 18 in the Heat’s season opener against the Orlando Magic and subsequently missed the next five games.
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A day after the Heat’s win in Minnesota last Friday night to open the road trip, Whiteside was held out of practice with swelling and pain in the same knee.
Whiteside’s minutes have decreased with each game on the trip since Minnesota when he played 24 minutes and seven seconds and still managed to finish with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Whiteside played 21 minutes and 19 seconds against Chicago on Sunday (11 points, nine rebounds) and only 18 minutes and 42 seconds in the Heat’s loss to the Cavaliers on Tuesday in which he finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Without Whiteside against the Knicks and facing a tall obstacle in their 7-3 center Kristaps Porzingis, the Heat (10-10) may lean on Kelly Olynyk and rookie Bam Adebayo, who scored a career-high 19 points against Cleveland on Tuesday on perfect 7-of-7 shooting.
That made Adebayo the only rookie in Heat franchise history to not miss a shot in a game with at least seven field goal attempts.
Spoelstra turned to Adebayo in the second quarter and later gave the rookie some more minutes after the game was out of reach in the second half. Adebayo played 18 minutes and 27 seconds and in addition to his career-high scoring output, had six rebounds and a block.
The previous record belonged to Harold Miner, who went 6-for-6 on Jan. 10, 1993 in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Adebayo also went a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line, marking the second time in Heat history a player went perfect in at least five attempts from the field and the foul line in a game, matching the mark set by Dorrell Wright on Feb. 4, 2008 at home against the Raptors.
“It’s no surprise to me that Bam was ready to come in and perform,” Udonis Haslem said after Tuesday’s game. “I’ve been working with him every day, seeing the work he’s been putting in.”
Adebayo hadn’t played in the previous three games and had only played six games since making three consecutive starts while Hassan Whiteside was injured earlier this season.
"My approach to every game is always be ready because you never know how the game is going to go," Adebayo said. "I’m just ready every game. Every time coach calls my name I’ll be ready to go.
"I was like I gotta be patient and wait my turn. My teammates helped me with that. You got to be patient. Everybody on this team waits their turn to get a chance so I was just next up."