Whiteside: “I really wanted to get faster”
It’s been a busy week for the Miami Heat.
It began Monday in Miami at the team’s annual media day and it continued with five days in Boca Raton for training camp. The seventh day included the Heat’s preseason opener, which ended up as a 104-100 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday at AT&T Center.
But wins and losses don’t matter much in the preseason. In fact, it was a positive night for the Heat because starting center Hassan Whiteside, who is entering the third season of his four-year, $98 million contract, was the Heat’s best player with 20 points, 13 rebounds and one block in 23 minutes.
It marked Whiteside’s first chance to prove he really took a step forward this summer after taking a step back last season. He didn’t disappoint, as an active Whiteside contested shots and set solid screens before exiting the game with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter to allow for others to play in the preseason opener.
Goran Dragic was also effective with 12 points and two assists. Dwyane Wade contributed 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting to go with four assists in 18 minutes, all in the first half.
Among the six players on the Heat’s roster eligible to play on the organization’s G League developmental affiliate, two-way contract player Duncan Robinson turned in the best performance Sunday. Robinson scored 12 and made 3-of-8 shots from 3-point range.
DeMar DeRozan, who was traded by the Toronto Raptors as part of the Kawhi Leonard deal this summer, finished with seven points, two rebounds and two assists in his first action in a Spurs uniform.
The Heat held out Bam Adebayo (right AC joint sprain), Wayne Ellington (left ankle soreness), James Johnson (sports hernia surgery), Josh Richardson (left thigh contusion) and Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery) Sunday.
The Heat continues the preseason Tuesday, when it faces the Charlotte Hornets in the second game of a three-game road trip.