The Miami Heat will have to muster a nearly flawless game to avoid elimination at the hands of the young Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

All-Star point guard Goran Dragic leads the Heat in the series both in scoring (17.3 points on 45 percent FG shooting) and assists (4.8 assists per game). 36-year-old Dwyane Wade, on the other hand, has been the Heat’s heart and soul, giving the team some boost off the bench and hitting big shots in crucial stretches.

Unfortunately, the Sixers pairing of rookie playmaker Ben Simmons and All-Star big man Joel Embiid has given the Heat all kinds of troubles on both ends. Simmons is averaging almost a triple-double in the series with 19.8 points, 9.8 assists and 10.3 rebounds per game. Embiid has been equally unstoppable inside after missing Game 1. The Cameroonian big man is pumping up 22 points and 11 boards per contest.

Where is Whiteside?

The lethargic play of Hassan Whiteside is one of the reasons why Miami can’t contain Embiid and other Sixers big men.

The 2017-18 season has been a rough year for the Heat big, who has seen his regular playing cut down as head coach Erik Spoelstra opts for a small and mobile lineup.

In the series, the matchup with Embiid turned the flat-footed Whiteside to a liability on the floor. He only logged an average of 13 minutes through Game 1 to 3 before playing 26 minutes (13 points and 13 rebounds) in Game 4.

Tom D’Angelo of Palm Beach Post opined in his mailbag entry that Whiteside’s trade value absolutely took a big hit because of his uninspiring showing in the postseason.

Unless Whiteside turned things around in the series, it would be really hard for the Heat to find a workable trade using their highest-paid player ($52.5 million over two years) as the centerpiece.

Baiting DeMarcus Cousins

ESPN’s Senior NBA writer Zach Lowe also expressed the same concern about the prospect of trading Whiteside. Before the 2017-18 NBA season, many viewed him as an integral trade piece for the Heat in future attempt to land Cousins. Six months later, the Heat big is rendered inadequate even for a player who just suffered a ruptured Achilles heel.

Hassan Whiteside's trade value has fallen so low, the Pelicans may not be interested in any sort of swap (whether Miami would be, even with Cousins' injury, is a fascinating question).

There is always -- always -- some unexpected scenario out there,” according to Lowe.

Dwayne Wade is the block leader

Wade’s return to Miami has produced so many memorable moments, including that 28-points, 7-rebound performance in a Game 2 win over the Sixers.

Wade, who hasn’t provided any clarity about his plan after this season (hopefully he won’t retire), added another feather to his cap by becoming the best shot-blocking guard in the history of the NBA with 175 blocks. Again, kudos to one and only D-Wade.