Taking a page out of the Bill Belichick/NHL-teams-during-the-playoffs playbook, the Miami Heat refused to define the grade of the knee sprain suffered by Hassan Whiteside. Even though we all know that a “mild” grade 1 MCL sprain means a couple of weeks of rest — it is exactly what Stephen Curry just came back from — Whiteside is officially listed as day-to-day. Which means we get a daily “will he or won’t he” update out of Miami.
Whiteside himself confirmed this. Here is his quote, 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….
“I don’t really have a time period for you,” he said. “I’m just getting better.”
If Miami wins Game 7 Sunday in Toronto Whiteside may well be back in the next round against Cleveland, probably not for Game 1 but somewhere during the series. The Heat certainly could use their big man — Miami has been 6.2 points per 100 possessions better in the playoffs with Whiteside on the court than off it. They will need his presence inside to have any chance against the rolling Cavaliers.