Robert Duyos, USA Today Sports

The Miami Heat will be without Hassan Whiteside for Game 4, as he recovers from a sprained MCL suffered in Game 3.

This would be a much tougher blow to absorb if the Toronto Raptors didn’t also lose their talented young big man,┬áJonas Valanciunas, for the rest of the series.



Still, Whiteside won’t be easily replaced. The third-year center out of Marshall has been one of the top players for the Heat this season, and he has been particularly brutish in the low post against the Raptors in this series.

Before being forced out of Game 3 after just eight minutes of play, Whiteside had accounted for 22 points, 29 rebounds, four blocks and five steals.

Udanis Haslem and Josh McRoberts now have their work cut out for them to step into his big shoes and produce at a high level for the full 48 on Monday night. In his stead, they combined for 12 points and 11 rebounds in Game 3. But the biggest thing they cannot do consistently that Whiteside became famous for this year is protect the rim.

The Heat are down 2-1 to the Raptors in this series. Another┬áloss on Monday night could prove fatal to the team’s chances of moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals. Both teams in this series appear to be significantly lacking when compared to the team that awaits them, the Cleveland Cavaliers.