A look at Hassan Whiteside's strong play for Miami; plus three players to watch on your waiver wire this weekend
POSTED: Mar 10, 2016 2:52 PM ET
Hassan Whiteside has sparked the Heat since being moved to the bench in early February.
A demotion to the bench is the last thing most players want to happen the season before they enter free agency.
But for Hassan Whiteside, the move out of the Heat's starting lineup and to the bench has sparked dominance.
Since being moved to the bench on February 3, the Heat are 10-5 with Whiteside averaging 16.4 points on 60.3 percent shooting, 13.2 rebounds and an NBA-leading 4.1 blocks in only 28.4 minutes. Per 36 minutes, Whiteside is averaging an unmatched 20.7 points, 16.7 rebounds and 5.2 blocks.
The disgruntled Whiteside from earlier in the season appears to be gone as he thrives alongside versatile players like Luol Deng, Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson. The switch to the bench has allowed the Heat to pick up the pace with Whiteside when their veterans (aka Dwyane Wade, Amar'e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson) are off the floor. He's feasting on opposing bench bigs and providing a necessary spark for Miami's veteran group.
GameTime: Hassan Whiteside
The Game Time crew discuss why they think Hassan Whiteside has been so successful lately.
The return of Chris Bosh could complicate this bench role for Whiteside. But until Bosh returns (which isn't a guarantee), it's likely coach Erik Spoelstra will keep Whiteside in his current position for as long as the Heat continue to rack up wins. That's good news for his fantasy owners who expect big production from Whiteside with Yahoo! fantasy playoffs starting next week for some leagues.
Stat Line of the Week
Nightly Notable: Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook scores 25 points with a career-high 20 assists and 11 rebounds to record his 11th triple-double of the season.
March 9 vs. L.A. Clippers -- 25 points (9-15 FG, 7-7 FT), 20 assists, 11 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block in 37 minutes
The Memphis big man has stepped up as the Grizzlies continue to deal with countless injuries in their frontcourt. Over his last three games, Green is averaging 16.7 points on 53.1 percent shooting, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks in 32.4 minutes. If he's available in your league, scoop him up. He will be worth rostering for as long as the Grizzlies remain banged up. Memphis matches up with New Orleans on Friday and Atlanta on Saturday.
The veteran is starting to find his groove after missing most of the season with a back injury. Over his last two games, Dunleavy is averaging 15.0 points on 68.8 percent shooting, 3.0 3-pointers, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 32.2 minutes. He's worth an add if you need points and 3-pointers, especially if Jimmy Butler (knee) remains sidelined. The Bulls matchup with Miami on Friday.
Price has been solid for Phoenix over the last three games with averages of 12.0 points on 53.8 percent shooting, 2.7 3-pointers, 4.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 38.2 minutes. His minutes should remain high, allowing him to provide ample 3-pointers and steals this weekend. The Suns matchup with Golden State on Saturday.