Hassan Whiteside was a liability for the Heat during their playoff loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Miami center who signed a four-year max contract worth $98.6 million in 2016 was relegated mostly to the bench after Joel Embiid returned from injury in Game 3 of the series Philadelphia won, 4-1.
Whiteside averaged 5.2 points, six rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 2.4 turnovers and 3.2 fouls in 15.4 minutes per game during the series. His performance furthered a growing divide between himself and head coach Erik Spoelstra.
On Monday, Miami team president Pat Riley spoke with media and did not mince words when criticizing Whiteside’s playoff performance.
“There’s no doubt that he was in a bad state in the playoffs,” Riley said. “By the time we got to the playoffs, I don’t think he was ready. … He wasn’t ready. He wasn’t in great shape. He wasn’t fully conditioned for a playoff battle mentally. He, and we, got our head handed to us.
“I’m not going to give him any kind of excuse. But (Whiteside’s) season started with an injury, and all year long there was a dilemma of some kind.”
Embiid, whose has a simmering social media feud with Whiteside dating to the beginning of the season, saw Riley’s comments and jumped on the opportunity to chime in just hours before taking the court against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Joel Embiid’s pregame routine: dunking on Hassan Whiteside pic.twitter.com/9Q6c1SmpOs
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) April 30, 2018
“I’ll let you finish but I missed a month so no excuses just Trust It,” Embiid said via Instagram regarding Whiteside not being in shape.
Embiid missed time at the end of the regular season with a broken orbital bone and apparently relished his ability to jump into the middle of the series and make an immediate impact after missing the first two games.
And, once again, he got the last word in on social media.
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