Dave Hyde: Game 2 needs a new White­side.

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Dave Hyde

PHILADEL­PHIA — This was new: Has­san White­side sat af­ter prac­tice Sun­day and called out Has­san White­side. The Heat cen­ter said, “I have to be more ag­gres­sive.”

Ev­ery Mi­ami Heat fan nods read­ing that.

“I wasn’t that ag­gres­sive,” White­side said of his play in Satur­day’s Game 1 loss. More nods. “I was just try­ing to get a feel for the game early,” he said. “I’ve got to come out with the mind­set that we’ve played them and they’re a dif­fer­ent team with­out [cen­ter Joel] Em­biid.

So we’ll see tonight in Game 2. See if White­side is dif­fer­ent. See if he’s worth more than the 12 min­utes he played in Game 1. See if he scores more than two points. See if he can make Philadel­phia pay for guard­ing him with for­wards.

We’ve moved past the point of won­der­ing if White­side can be a unique and elite tal­ent for this team. It’s down­sized to if he can just be an ad­van­tage for a night against smaller play­ers he should dom­i­nate.

“All the power and mus­cles ar­eas — they have to feel that,” Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra said.

All across the Heat prac­tice at Tem­ple Univer­sity on Sun­day, there was talk of em­brac­ing the right mind­set, that it was just one loss and they just need to play their game.

No one should think this se­ries is done. But Game 1 bet­ter not be a sign. The old war­rior, Udo­nis Haslem, had it right when he said, “Be­fore the X’s and O’s, we just need to com­pete. We didn’t do enough of that [in Game 1].”

They need Tyler John­son and Jus­tise Winslow to play tougher de­fense, Josh Richard­son not to dis­ap­pear against 76ers star Ben Sim­mons, and Go­ran Dragic to play like he usu­ally does, too.

And White­side. They need him. His size, his strength, his full game should be the one dis­tinct ad­van­tage the Heat has in this se­ries.

“You have to make them pay for it,” he said at one point when asked if Philadel­phia plays for­ward Er­san Ilyasova at cen­ter again.

A lot was made of the 76ers youth. But the Heat’s play­off in­ex­pe­ri­ence showed in Game 1. It was play­off game No. 173 for Dwyane Wade, but he re­mem­bers his first se­ries in 2003 for some­thing

more than his win­ning Game 7 shot.

“I re­mem­ber Game 3,” Wade said. “That’s when I was like, ‘Oh, the play­offs are real.’ We had the first two games at home. I was av­er­ag­ing 20 com­ing out of those games. I think we blew them out once, feel­ing real good about our­selves.

“We went on the road in Game 3 and it seemed like ev­ery time I can [get] into the paint, P.J. Brown and Ja­maal Ma­gloire, they were just hit­ting me for no rea­son. I’d

just pass them, run through, and I’d get a chuck. It was a phys­i­cal game. I had a ter­ri­ble game. I might’ve scored two points. I had a lot of turnovers. I left the game say­ing, ‘Oh, OK, so this is what the play­offs are like.’ I had to go from there.”

The Heat have to be that team, if they want to win. Sim­mons drove the lane with aban­don — and no one fouled him hard. That’s not the Heat. At least it wasn’t the Heat when they mat­tered.

They had Alonzo Mourn­ing fight­ing New York’s Larry John­son, or Haslem blood­y­ing up In­di­ana’s Tyler Hans­brough. Now the big guy ca­pa­ble of do­ing that is the big­gest ques­tion on the team.

It says some­thing that Spoel­stra has ex­panded the games of ev­ery­one from Le­Bron James into an ev­ery-po­si­tion player to James John­son from a com­mon jour­ney­man. Yet he can’t seem to get through to White­side. If he can’t, can any­one? There was White­side, say­ing

three times he has to be more “ag­gres­sive,” tonight. We’ll see if he is. There’s not much rid­ing on it. The se­ries. Prob­a­bly his Heat fu­ture in some form.

“It’s just Game 1,” White­side said of Satur­day’s loss. “It’s not the first game, won or lost. It’s a se­ries.”

It’s time for him to en­ter this se­ries a game late.

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