Thursday's Heat News: Dragic says Waiters' absence not reason for his mini-slump

New book reflects on LeBron, Riley, Napier, McRoberts, Granger and Summer of '14: Amid the possibility of the Miami Heat's first playoff series against LeBron James, a pair of ESPN personalities have released a book that includes reflections on James' 2014 NBA free-agency departure from South Florida. Included in "Return of the King" by Brian Windhorst and Dave McMenamin, are references to the Heat's concerns of reducing their exposure to the NBA's luxury tax, and how James vetted suitors about being more willing to absorb such financial encumbrances. -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Bigger gash, more pain this time, but Hassan Whiteside says he intends to play Thursday: When Hassan Whiteside sliced open his right hand in March 2015, the Heat still had a shot at making the playoffs. He missed three games — all Heat losses — because the pain was too much to bear. The Heat, a playoff long shot then, didn’t make the postseason. -- The Miami Herald

Haslem says Rondo, Celtics need to ‘get over’ ill feelings toward Ray Allen: Heat captain Udonis Haslem isn’t looking to restart an old war with the Boston Celtics. He just doesn’t understand why they’re still holding a grudge toward Ray Allen and are not inviting him back to be a part of the 2008 championship team’s 10-year anniversary party. -- The Miami Herald

Heat listing Whiteside as 'probable' vs. Raptors with lacerated hand: A day after opening a 13-stitch gash on his right hand, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside said Wednesday his goal is to get back on the court as soon as possible. Whiteside, who missed four games with a similar injury two seasons ago, was injured in the closing minutes of Tuesday night's victory over the Phoenix Suns at AmericanAirlines Arena, when his split his hand on the backboard between his ring and middle finger. -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Dragic downplays struggles without Waiters; Raptors' Ibaka suspended: The sample size is slight, but the absence of Dion Waiters has made Goran Dragic a less visible element of the Miami Heat offense. In the two games Waiters has missed with the sprained left ankle that has him out indefinitely, Dragic is a combined 12 of 37 from the field with 5 assists, in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers and victory over the Phoenix Suns. -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Udonis Haslem says Celtics have to ‘get over’ feeling of betrayal toward Ray Allen: When Udonis Haslem heard the Celtics were not inviting Ray Allen back to be a part of the 2008 championship team’s 10-year anniversary party, he had one reaction. “I mean, I just shook my head,” Haslem said. -- The Palm Beach Post

Hassan Whiteside hoping for fast recovery from lacerated hand: ‘I’m going with the intention to play vs. Raptors’: It took 13 stitches to close the gash on Hassan Whiteside’s right hand Tuesday night. But it may take more than that to keep Whiteside out of Thursday’s home game against the Raptors. The Heat’s $98 million center is listed as probable to play in the finale of Miami’s five-game homestand. -- The Palm Beach Post