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Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (hip) set to miss ninth straight game

From NBA media reports

* Tonight on TNT: Cavaliers vs. Heat (8 ET)

Barring a collapse of unseen proportions, the Miami Heat have a place in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They’re No. 8 as of this morning and have enough games left (eight) in which they could climb higher in the seeding race.

As LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come to town tonight, the Heat will have to score a win without center Hassan Whiteside. The big man is listed as out tonight and is set to miss his ninth straight game, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel:

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside is being listed as out for Tuesday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at AmericanAirlines Arena, which would be the ninth consecutive game he would miss due to what the team now is listing as a strained left hip flexor.

The Heat’s policy is to list a player as out if the game were to be held that day, with the Heat’s issuing the latest report Monday. The Heat last Thursday listed guard Dwyane Wade as out for last Friday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to his hamstring strain, with Wade then playing in that game.

Whiteside initially injured his hip during the morning shootaround before the Heat’s March 10 victory over the visiting Washington Wizards.

This is the third extended absence of the season for the 28-year-old center. He missed five consecutive games in October with a bruised left knee, 13 consecutive games in November and December with what the team said was a different bone bruise to that left knee, and now this nine-game absence if he sits out Tuesday. He also missed the Feb. 3 road loss to the Detroit Pistons due to a stomach illness, his only other absence this season.

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