It's Hassan Whiteside's world, we're all just living in it.
In one of the more unexpected triple-doubles in recent memory, Whiteside put up 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 blocked shots in the Heat's 96-84 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. It was the first 14/13/12 stat line since the year 2000. Whiteside wasn't even on an NBA roster last November.
The Heat are 6-5 overall since the calendar flipped to 2015. They've now won two straight, edging the Indiana Pacers by two prior to the win in Chicago.
Miami has already lost to the Bucks twice this season, both at home and on the road. Like the Bucks at times, the Heat have had a strangely difficult time winning at home--they're five games below .500 in Miami. They're also just two games ahead of the 9th-seeded Brooklyn Nets in the Eastern Conference standings, though the teams have moved in opposite directions over their last two games.
Both Luol Deng and Chris Andersen have been ruled out for tonight's game. Danny Granger and Whiteside are expected to replace them in the starting lineup. Deng injured his calf late in the game against Chicago while Andersen is listed with back and elbow injuries.
No news for the Bucks, which is good news these days.
The Heat are average-to-below-average in just about every area save one: earning free throws. The Heat rank 3rd in the NBA in team free-throw rate. Chris Andersen, Mario Chalmers, Luol Deng, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all have individual free-throw rates above .300, helping offset slightly below-average shooting from behind the arc. Miami also forces turnovers at a top-10 rate. Their overall talent level may be much lower than last year, but they're well-coached and have a pair of stars playing at a high level--both Wade and Bosh have PERs of at least 21.0.
|14/15 NBA Season|
|January 27, 2015|
|AmericanAirlines Arena | Miami, FL
|Fox Sports Wisconsin | 620 WTMJ|
|Brandon Knight||PG||Mario Chalmers|
|Khris Middleton||SG||Dwyane Wade|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||SF||Danny Granger|
|Ersan Ilyasova||PF||Chris Bosh|
|Zaza Pachulia||C||Hassan Whiteside|
|2014/15 Advanced Stats|
|103.5 (23rd)||ORtg||103.9 (22nd)