Hassan Whiteside remains out of commission for the do-or-die Game 7.
Whiteside could potentially be available for the Miami Heat if they can get past the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, but at this time he’s still in the healing stage of his recovery.
He spoke about his inability to play for the upcoming game, via Shandel Richardson of the Sun-Sentinel:
“I can’t really put a measurement on it,” Whiteside said after the Heat’s 103-91 victory Friday. “It just really depends on what the doctors say and how everything is feeling. I don’t really want to make anything worse.”
He also said he has no “time period” for his recovery but that he is “just getting better.”
When healthy, Whiteside is the NBA’s best interior defender. He averaged 3.7 blocks per game during the regular season and 2.8 blocks during the playoffs. Thanks to the extra opportunities he gives them, the Heat are predictably better overall when he’s on the court than they are without him.
This means it’s up to Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic to continue out-dueling DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry in Toronto if the Heat have any chance of coming away from Game 7 with the win.
Should the Heat advance into the Eastern Conference Final, Whiteside’s availability will likely determine whether or not they have a chance of taking down LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers. Regardless, they’ll be significant underdogs against the Cavs, who’ve yet to lose in the playoffs.