November 6, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat Struggling Early

Heat Fall to Warriors: 97-80

The Heat fell to the Golden State Warriors last night. Miami, now three games into their six game road trip, has struggled to find a rhythm so far in 2017. They fell to the Nuggets by one point to begin the road trip and then almost choked up a 25 point fourth quarter lead to the Clippers. It’s clear, the Heat are struggling to regain the consistency they played with in the second half of last season. Sitting at 4-and-6 on the year, good for 12th place in the East, something is going wrong with Erik Spoelstra’s team.

Miami carried high expectations entering 2017. They ended the second half of 2016 with an impressive 30-11 record after starting the year 11-and-30. So far, two games under .500, the sky hasn’t fallen just yet. However, the Heat will need to show more effort on this road trip.

Hassan Whiteside Benched

73 seconds into the third quarter of last night’s game, Spoelstra’s frustration with his star center came to a boiling point. Whiteside did not see the floor the rest of the night. The Heat were not completely out of the game either. They held Golden State to under 100 points for the first time this year. The lack of effort must have been clear for Spoelstra to remove his best player in a winnable game.

This certainly isn’t the first time Whiteside’s character has effected his teams performance on the court. When he first arrived in Miami his attitude was the most difficult part of his game to fix. Although he does not have major issues with technical fouls or pouting on the court any longer its clear Spoelstra will not hesitate to bench him if he feels the effort isn’t there. Miami is known for putting things like player effort and culture above all else in their organization, it’s apparent that they still carry the same expectations for their franchise player.

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