Hassan Whiteside’s Game Mirrors Wilt’s Unfortunately to a Fault

Hassan

The Chris Bosh-less Miami Heat continue to push for a spot in the playoffs, hoping to make a deep run in a depleted Eastern Conference. After retooling their offense by picking up the always steady, Goran Dragic, Miami seems capable of making a splash in April, combining consistent guard play from Dragic and Dwyane Wade with youthful athleticism in Henry Walker and returning Michael Beasley. A key component to the latter is Cinderella story center, Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside’s rebounding, strength, and interview charisma took the league by storm earlier in 2015. In doing so, he’s asserted himself as a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. However, his frequently overlooked negatives seem to share their likeness with NBA legend, Wilt Chamberlain. In most cases, any comparison to Chamberlain is a positive, but this is not necessarily the case for Whiteside.

Hassan Whiteside was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2010 and made essentially no impact on the team. In the 2011 season, the big man out of Marshall played only 2 minutes. After cutting ties in SacTown in 2012, Whiteside was out of the league for two whole seasons until Miami rediscovered him in 2015. After a miraculous turnaround, Whiteside is putting up 10.9 points and 9.9 boards per game while shooting at 62.6% from the floor with Miami. All seems peachy with the numbers, but that feeling changes beneath the surface of his game.

Wilt Chamberlain dominated the NBA in his time, tossing up 50 point games like it was nothing. He was almost unstoppable. However, his numbers are so unfairly inflated due to his unheard of size that his honest skill is still blown out of proportion. Despite his unbelievable averages of over 30 points and 22 rebounds per game, Wilt failed to capitalize where it counts: the playoffs. In his 13 year career, Chamberlain won only two NBA Titles, despite 12 All Star appearances, 7 All-NBA First Team selections, and 4 league MVP awards. His career scoring figures shrunk from 30.1 points on 54% shooting in the regular season to only 22.5 points and 52.2% in the postseason. Wilt’s focus and dedication to winning continuously wavered throughout his career, causing his unbelievable statistics to be left with the footnote of playoff disappointment. Hassan Whiteside seems to be shaping up for a similar fate.

One of the frightening sides of Hassan’s game resides in his short temper. Despite having only played in 36 games this season, Whiteside already holds seven technical fouls and two ejections to his name. Among all players with seven or more techs this season, Whiteside has played in the fewest games by 11, the closest to him being the perennially vicious, Kevin Garnett.  Wilt Chamberlain’s frustration leaked onto the court countless times in his career as well, afflicting him as a team player. Whiteside’s on-court behavioral issues have plagued him since his entry to the league, scaring off teams from seeking his talents. But a few technical fouls is not all that links the Big Dipper to the Miami Heat’s young gun.

Wilt Chamberlain and Hassan Whiteside share an eerily similar play style. Both utilize their untouchable height to bully their opponents on both sides of the ball. However, both also suffer from the flow-killing tunnel vision. While Wilt’s scoring figures per game were unbelievably high, so was his amount of shot attempts. In his career, he attempted an average of 22.5 shots per contest, putting up 30.1 points per game. In a league where shooting just over 50% was considered ideal, those figures flew. However, putting up those same figures in today’s game certainly would not cut it in the long haul. Whiteside doesn’t struggle with his percentage scoring from the floor, which is an efficient 62.6%, but his post skills and moves are still so lacking. Within three feet of the hoop, Whiteside converts like DeAndre Jordan, in that they both use their strength and size to flush the ball down with force at a high clip, but only get the opportunity to do so when the chance is created away from them. The difference between Jordan and Whiteside is that DJ keeps his game where it should, whereas Whiteside continues to try to extend his range, to minimal avail. Whiteside converts 75.7% of shots from within 3 feet of the hoop, comparable to Jordan’s 74.5% from the same distance. However, from 3-10 feet from the basket Whiteside only converts on 46.6% of his shots. This is to be expected based on Hassan’s style of play, but while Jordan only hoists 6.9% of his shots from that distance, Whiteside jacks up 32.6% of shots from that range. Hassan’s touch around the basket is weak, and when he gets the ball in bad position, he seldom makes the right team play. Wilt and Whiteside also share the same Achilles heel: free throw shooting. Unfortunately for both, it seems to stem from a lack of trying. Both have career percentages below 52%, but the issue is obvious in the form. Wilt Chamberlain had no focus or care for his form, as he stood four feet behind the line and jacked up shots from his waist just to get the humiliation over with. Whiteside suffers similarly, tossing up unbalanced bricks time after time.

The comparisons are plentiful between the NBA Hall of Famer and the Miami Heat center. While Whiteside may love being compared to one of the greats, the Heat should take caution with the volatility that comes with the athletic, glass-eating play. Overall, Whiteside has been a huge help to a Heat team that’s been robbed of now-franchise player, Chris Bosh, for the remainder of the season. However, in the long run, Whiteside needs to adjust his attitude towards working for an NBA Title as opposed to his personal fame, like one of the best to come before him, Wilt Chamberlain.

By: Oscar Rzodkiewicz

@ORzodkiewicz

 

Related Posts

Kobe Bryant done for the season: Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant is expected to miss the rest of the season with a torn rotator cuff, ESPN reported. Kobe suffered th...
Larry Sanders: “Don’t forget the and..... Larry Sanders recently teamed up with the players tribune to talk and write a little bit about his weird departure from the NBA and explain things in ...
Pistons Dominate 2nd Half, Roll to 106-78 Win Over... Follow @SportsMeccaGabe Follow @SportsMeccaDET Detroit rolled into Charlotte with the playoffs on their mind. Needing this win after a couple disap...
Hornets Blowout Orlando, 98-83 Following a valiant performance in a losing effort against the Atlanta Hawks, the Orlando Magic returned home to host Al Jefferson and the Charlotte H...
Thunder plan on trading Reggie Jackson before the ... The Oklahoma City Thunder plan on trading Reggie Jackson before the NBA trade deadline, Frank Isola reports. Jackson will be a restricted free agen...
Splash Brothers run the show… again. Oakland -- Warriors improve to a league's best 29-5 The Lebron-less Cavaliers traveled to Oakland on Friday evening as they took on Golden States' ...
Gregg Popovich Earns 1000th Career Win Add another item to the long list of Hall of Fame-worthy things Gregg Popvich has accomplished, because he is now the 9th coach in NBA history to win ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

css.php