Heat Notes: Whiteside, Spoelstra, McGruder

Hassan Whiteside and the Heat look to build off last season's strong finish.

In this era of pro basketball small ball, might the Miami Heat be thinking about a return of the Twin Towers?

“I was comfortable with that out there,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after pairing 7-footer Hassan Whiteside with 7-footer Kelly Olynyk for Saturday’s preseason game against the Orlando Magic.

“Everything right now, I’ll take a look and we’ll evaluate and I’ll make the decision whenever I make the decision,” Spoelstra continued (via the Sun-Sentinel). “It might not be in concrete, but I like the way the grouped worked together.”

The Heat won 30 of their final 41 games last season and believe they’re a playoff team this year — perhaps even a top-five seed. Along with Whiteside and Olynyk (who came from Boston), they boast guards Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic, among others.

But instead of trying to match the league with All-Perimeter, All-the-Time, Spoelstra and the Heat may try to old inside-out routine.

Whiteside, for one, seems to enjoy playing with Olynyk.

“He’s a big big, and he’s a very smart,” Whiteside said. “His basketball IQ is really great. So it was really good having him out there.”

Here’s more out of Miami:

  • Whiteside was brutally honest when asked about not making NBA general managers’ preseason list of top centers. “I’ll just keep killing their teams,” he said.
  • Rodney McGruder’s unselfishness and gritty style may give him the edge over Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson for the starting small forward job, writes Manny Navarro in the Miami Herald.