Hassan Whiteside is one of the most dominant NBA big men at the moment. Despite the league shifting to a faster-paced and three-point centered game, Whiteside continues to show just how important and irreplaceable a conventional center is in the NBA. With the Eastern Conference being considered weak this season, the Miami Heat will likely do their best to win games so that they can make a return to the NBA playoffs. Here are the top three reasons why this season is a make or break season for both the Miami Heat and Hassan Whiteside:

Whiteside must be healthy

Hassan Whiteside was drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the 33rd overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft.

He was assigned to the King's D-League affiliate, Reno Big Horns, early in the season. But on March 5, 2011, Whiteside had surgery to repair a partially torn tendon in his left knee, which sidelined him for the rest of the season. His career quickly went downhill ever since that injury, he played two years in the D-League and played one season in China. Whiteside never stopped playing basketball despite the setback and he made his way back to the NBA in 2014 where he quickly became one of the most dominant centers.

Whiteside has been amazing since 2014 but he is facing another major injury this season, the Miami Herald reported. He suffered a bone bruise in their season opener against the Orlando Magic.

He has missed the last five games for the Heat and according to Andre C. Fernandez of the Miami Herald, it is still unsure on when he will return.

The East is weak

The current Miami Heat team had a strong showing in the eastern conference last season despite falling short of making the NBA playoffs. This season, the Eastern conference is looking very weak with Paul George, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague, and Carmelo Anthony now playing for a western conference team.

The Boston Celtics were poised to be another superteam but Gordon Hayward got injured which leads to them being another ordinary team in The East. The Heat will need to make the playoffs this season because if they do not, front management may think of giving up on their core and start a full rebuild.

The Miami Heat core is still intact

The Miami Heat barely missed the playoffs last season, they ended up in the ninth spot in the eastern conference. Ever since last year, the Heat have maintained their core in the hopes of being better this season and finally making a playoff return ever since LeBron Jame's departure. Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Hassan Whiteside, Josh Richardson, Justice Winslow, and Tyler Johnson will surely have more team chemistry together. They need to have a great season because if they do not it seems likely that this will be the last time we see all of those guys together as part of the Miami Heat next season.