Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra would vote for his own guy for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Spoelstra says that Hassan Whiteside has been the NBA’s most dominant defensive player.

Spoelstra believes this has been the most productive season of Whiteside’s career.

Per the Sun-Sentinel:

“What he’s done in the second half of the season, even after the New Year, really impacting winning, hey I’d put him up there against any center these last 50 games,” Spoelstra said. “I’d put him up there in any discussion in Defensive Player of the Year these last 50 games. He would be my vote because he’s impacted it in a huge way at the rim, in the paint.”

 

Whiteside is averaging 16.9 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. While his scoring is at a career-best, it is his play on the defensive end that has stood out the most.

 

The Heat also feel Whiteside is deserving of consideration for one of the three All-NBA teams. The honors are announced in late May. Whiteside is the league’s top rebounder, ranks third in blocks and ninth in field goal percentage.

 

“It’s been an amazing stretch for me,” Whiteside said. “It’s been a different year for me with shot blocking and just different things and learning different positions on the court. I definitely think it’s been a really great stretch for me in a Heat uniform.”