Throughout the playoffs, teams have tried to exploit poor free throw shooters, such as the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and the Rockets’ Dwight Howard.
Hassan Whiteside doesn’t want to put the Heat in that compromising position next season. So when Whiteside was asked Thursday for his offseason point of emphasis, the first thing he mentioned was “really work on free throws a lot more.”
Whiteside shot 62.8 percent from the field (fifth best in the league), but just 50 percent on free throws (78 for 156), 11th-worst among players who appeared in at least half their teams’ games.
Whiteside finished fourth in Most Improved Player of the Year voting and said: “I knew it was going to be tough for me to win that award because I didn’t play that many games.
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“But I won the Most Improved Life award, just coming from where I came from.”
Whiteside — among several players appearing at a Heat Academy event that included Carnival Corporation contributing $160,000 toward college scholarships — said this “is first time I’ve had a summer where I know I’m going to be on a team next year. It’s really peace of mind.”
▪ Unaccustomed to being off this time of year, Mario Chalmers said he has watched only one playoff game (Game 3 of the Bulls-Cavaliers series) and Udonis Haslem less than a quarter of the entire postseason.
“It feels kind of weird, so I really can’t watch it, not yet,” Chalmers said.
Said Haslem: “I’m not really interested.”
Instead, Haslem went alligator hunting with Chris Andersen.
“It was my first time; I was a little too anxious,” Haslem said. “They told me to wait, but I shot the first gator I saw. I’m going to try [eating it]. And I’m going to make some shoes or a wallet.”