Sports

Pat Riley says Heat must improve roster, addresses Whiteside issue

Pat Riley says Heat must improve roster, addresses Whiteside issue

- On the team's personnel, "There is a ceiling to everybody, but right now we have a bunch of guys that can get better". Well, we'll try to give them more.

And in the case of Hassan Whiteside, the enigmatic Heat center who was a nonfactor in the playoffs and complained about how he was being utilized by coach Erik Spoelstra, Riley made it clear that he wasn't happy with the entirety of the situation. And we'll have Plan A and Plan B. We don't today.

"We are not going to do nothing". "He's going to have to do something to change, because he's a hell of a player", Riley added. He's got to come back strong next year.

"If we wanted to go home on vacation right now and take off five months, we've got 10, 11 players under contract", he said.

"I'm not happy. I'm not happy with the ending". I'm going to try to help the both of them so we can keep him on the court 30 minutes a game. I wasn't really overwhelmed by it.

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There were multiple instances where the Miami big man showed frustration with his role on the team, and it all came to a boil during the Heat's brief playoff appearance. He said he hasn't yet broached the topic of retirement with Dwyane Wade, for fear of planting that seed. I love JJ. I love the fact that he's victor and wants to win, he's got a great attitude, but he has to get better, too. "There is always something that brings you back in; there's something that sucks you back in".

Whiteside dealt with injuries during the season and didn't want to wear a knee brace that the Heat insisted upon, and Riley said that if Whiteside and Spoelstra need an intervention to solve their relationship issues - if any - he'll handle it. "You could tell yourself in September, 'This is my previous year.' But by the end of the season, something happens that sucks you back in, 'I can't now". 'I can't now. I've got to make the team better. I've got a draft pick. I can't do this'. There's a few guys around the league that have those jobs. Riley says he's not sure it will happen this year, but they'll keep trying, while also developing current players. "I'm an active participant and I'm going to stay that way".

He paused and smiled at his media questioners, "to the chagrin of some of you and some people in the organization".

As usual, he touched on anything and everything, less than a week after the Heat were ousted in five games in the first round of the National Basketball Association playoff by the Philadelphia 76ers.

NOTES: Before Riley spoke, the Heat said guard Tyler Johnson had surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. He will be in a cast for six weeks.

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