The Miami Heat struggled in Game 3 and fell apart late, losing 128-108 to give the 76ers a 2-1 series lead.
Heat big man Hassan Whiteside, who has been complaining about his lack of minutes to anyone that will listen for weeks now, got a chance to be a factor with Philly star Joel Embiid back in the lineup. Embiid is 7’0″ and 250-pounds, so the Heat needed Whiteside’s size to try and contend.
It didn’t work.
Embiid scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds in his return from a facial injury that has forced him to wear a protective mask. Whiteside, meanwhile, only scored five points and two boards in 13 minutes and wasn’t very effective at guarding Embiid, getting into foul trouble early.
After the game, Whiteside said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra isn’t using him properly and mostly wants him out of the way on offense.
“It’s just different, man. I feel like our offense is a lot different. I’m not as involved in as many dribble handoffs as I was and post-ups as I was in the regular season,” Whiteside said, according to ESPN. “That’s what coach wants. Coach wants me to just be in the corner and set picks. That’s what he wants. I’ve just got to trust it.”
Of course, Whiteside also committed a number of bonehead turnovers in Game 3, which helps explain why Spoelstra doesn’t want the ball in his hands. The Heat will attempt to tie the series back up at 2-2 when Game 4 goes down on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.