Barry Jackson

Whiteside not ready for radical approach; Dolphins, UM, media notes

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) rebounds in the third quarter as the Miami Heat host the Los Angeles Clippers at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Fri., Dec. 16, 2016.
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) rebounds in the third quarter as the Miami Heat host the Los Angeles Clippers at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Fri., Dec. 16, 2016. adiaz@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Wednesday Heat, UM, Dolphins and media items:

• Shaquille O’Neal, whose jersey will be retired by the Heat on Thursday night, scored 28,596 points, but it could have been a lot more if he hadn’t missed 5317 free throws and made only 52.7 percent of his attempts.

Shaq scoffed at Rick Barry’s suggestion that Shaq shoot free throws underhanded, an approach Barry – an 89.3 percent free throw shooter – used with great success.

So it’s no surprise that Hassan Whiteside – who’s friends with Shaq – shot down any notion of implementing an underhanded technique, despite his continued problems at the line.

“No man. No way. No way,” Whiteside said. “I got a nice little jump shot. I'll just go back to that. It's going to come around. I'm going to get it right in due time. If you put enough time with it, it will come out.

“I'm messing around with it. I think I am going to get back to shooting jump shots. It will all work out.”

Whiteside’s free-throw percentage has dipped to 53.2 percent (100th among 104 qualifiers), down from 65 percent last year.

• By the way, for those who have asked about the notion of the Heat trading Whiteside and acquiring Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, don’t overlook how disruptive Cousins can be, whether it’s bickering with coaches (George Karl), or disrespecting other players or anyone else in his path.

While not talking about Cousins, the message we got from the Heat during the summer is they wanted high-character players who would not be a negative influence on the team’s young nucleus.

During a game this week, Cousins approached the Trail Blazers bench while celebrating and appeared to spit his mouthpiece at Blazers players sitting courtside. “His antics are over the top,” Portland’s Meyers Leonard said.

And here’s what he did to a reporter in the past week:

• UM defensive coordinator Manny Diaz today articulated one of UM’s major pitches in recruiting:

"I think what we've shown is that the best players are going to play at the University of Miami," Diaz said. "If you are a legit guy and you are a big time player, no matter what school you are going to go to, there is going to be competition. And it is the silliest recruiting ploy there is, to say, ‘Well there is going to be somebody there that was told the same story a year ago in recruiting.’ If anything, we want players that want to come to Miami, to compete against the best. Now, does our current roster still have major depth holes? Yes, of course it does.

“And obviously the guys we are recruiting are aware of that. However, we would never want someone to come to this school that did want to compete for a starting job the minute they walked on campus. At the same time somebody who was wary about that; In my past the recruits that ask you too many questions about the depth chart, sometimes that is a red flag, because at the University of Miami the expectation is that we should have a great defensive personnel. That brings out the best in the guys that are here.”

• Besides Ryan Tannehill, linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee) and cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Maxwell said he still holds out some hope of playing Saturday at Buffalo, and Joseph called it 50-50. Joseph said he’s not sure if Jenkins will play again this season.

Safety Isa Abdul-Quddus (ankle), linebacker Kiko Alonso (hamstring) and cornerback Bobby McCain (knee) were limited.

• Jarvis Landry said Kenny Stills has teased him about his speed, but Landry showed great burst on his 66-yard catch and run against the Jets. And he insists he has improved his speed since joining the Dolphins but doesn’t know his new 40-time.

“I think I kind of laid to rest all those slow jokes, things like that,” Landry said. “Hopefully that’s dead now and people will respect that I’ve got a little speed.”

• Media notes: CBS is sending Dolphins-Bills to just eight percent of the country, believing more of the nation is more interested in Patriots-Jets or Colts-Raiders. See 506sports.com for a map. Greg Gumbel and Trent Green call the game…

The Marlins seldom make an appearance on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball (aside from a July 3 Braves game at Fort Bragg, N.C. last season). So it was surprising that ESPN chose Marlins at Mets as its second Sunday night telecast on April 9… Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Shaq are calling Heat-Lakers on TNT on Thursday night.

Please click here for a lot more Dolphins nuggets from today.

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