Hassan Whiteside experienced some ups and downs with the Miami Heat.
He had turned in a couple of statistically dominant seasons from 2015-17, especially, but the athletic 7’0”, 265-pounder was moved to the Portland Trail Blazers in a trade last summer after both parties needed a change of scenery.
He promptly turned back the clock, making nearly every night a block and board party.
Whiteside currently leads the paused NBA in total blocks with 187 rejections, good for 3.1 per game. He previously topped that category in 2015-16 with 267 and 3.7 per game.
When Whiteside is fully engaged, he can flat out take over. One example is against the Chicago Bulls during a 107-103 Nov. 29 home win. He controlled the tempo with an amazing 10 rejections in just 30 minutes of action:
He dominated the lane 13 times for five or more blocks during this season, with the Blazers going 9-4 in those contests.
The Marshall product also amassed the most total rebounds (869) so far, good for 14.2 per night. He pulled down 20 or more boards eight times, leading to a 6-2 Portland mark.
Whiteside injects some much-needed size, rebounding and shot-blocking for the Blazers, who are still without potential All-Star Jusuf Nurkic in the paint. (Though he is likely to return during the NBA’s reboot later this month, along with fellow Portland big Zach Collins.)
Whiteside’s strong defensive presence (3.0 Defensive Win Shares) comfortably leads the team, and he’s second in overall WS to Damian Lillard (9.6 to 8.1).
Portland might nab that final Western playoff spot—they’re 3.5 games back with eight games left to play—as reinforcements like Collins and Nurkic arrive while Whiteside continues his dominant shot-blocking and rebounding.
Bob Bajek is an award-winning investigative journalist and TBW staff writer who has extensive experience in news and sportswriting for various outlets including Bleacher Report, The Chicago Tribune and Pro Football Weekly. He firmly believes Drake spread the Gospel of Steph before his official coming… and fans need to forgive the Warriors after providing free tacos for four NBA Finals.