“Keep hoopin', keep horsing…“
That is Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside’s motto at the moment.
The best part of that motto?
Whiteside not only claims to play like a horse and backs that up with his performance, but he also backs it up with a spot-on neighing sound.
Don’t believe me?
Check out the video.
As Whiteside says, he has to go “horse out there” to gobble up as many rebounds as he can.
The 7-footer’s rebounding prowess was a necessity Wednesday night against a pesky Golden State Warriors team.
Through the first 12 minutes of action, Golden State had 13 second-chance points, while Portland had zero. Offensive rebounding was a key in the Warriors keeping Wednesday’s game close, but the Blazers were able to hold on for a 122-112 victory.
What was Whiteside’s rebounding line vs. the Warriors?
How about a season-high 23 boards.
Being a workhorse on the glass is what Whiteside enjoys doing, but becoming an even better rebounder this season has been in big thanks to his team captain Damian Lillard.
Whiteside said after Wednesday’s win, “[Golden State] was getting us in the first half with the offensive rebounds, so I just knew, Dame was just like, 'Go get all of ‘em.’ I just wanted to come out there, I always tell my teammates I got a horse out, got a horse out there.”
And going all out like a horse is what he did Wednesday. It's clear Whiteside has a knack for rebounding.
Whiteside is averaging 12.5 rebounds per game season, up from his career average of 11.5.
Lillard knows what Whiteside is capable of when it comes to cleaning the glass.
I’ve just been telling him, just get every rebound. Just eat up the glass, be that guy. I think his ability to rebound is one of the best I’ve seen. So, if we’re a team struggling to rebound the ball, we need to be encouraging him to do that,” -- Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard postgame
“He’s capable of being that monster on the glass every night. So, I just challenged him to go get every one. He obviously took that challenge tonight,” Lillard added.
Whiteside, who also had 16 points on 8-of-14 shooting, believes that once the Blazers were able to clamp down on the Warriors converting their second and third opportunities, Portland carried that momentum to a win.
I think once we cut off their rebounding that they was kicking out for threes, we got in the paint a lot more – we was able to get some stops. We was able to get out, get some run-outs, finish layups around the rim. I think the momentum just built from there. – Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts is thankful for the workhorse mentality that Whiteside brought against the Warriors.
“We needed every one of them. They hurt us on the offensive glass and we did a better job in the second half, but obviously 23 rebounds is pretty impressive.”
Twenty-three rebounds and the solid imitation of a workhorse: Two aspects of Whiteside’s game that are impressive and necessary this season for the Trail Blazers.