It appeared Hassan Whiteside was poised to make massive strides. But, in the end, the center’s Wednesday night return for the Miami Heat turned into a needed measured step forward.
After missing five games with a bone bruise on his left knee, Whiteside opened the 97-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls with seven points and nine rebounds in his initial 10-minute stint. He ultimately would close with 13 points and 14 rebounds in 26:22, kept on a time restriction by coach Erik Spoelstra.
“It was different,” he said, “because it had been such a long time since I played five-on-five. But I felt like I contributed in the best I would out there.”
He acknowledged fatigue was a factor, having been sidelined since the Oct. 18 season-opening loss to the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.
He said his body would let him know his time limits going forward.
“It just depends on how I’m going to feel,” he said. “You know, I expect it to be sore. But that’s what treatment is for.”
He said the contact required an adjustment.