Whiteside is averaging 14.1 points and 11.7 rebounds this season. Kelly Olynyk started at center Saturday night for the Heat.
Detroit is not at full strength either, with rookie Luke Kennard (foot) and guard Dwight Buycks (illness) missing the game. The Pistons have been without point guard Reggie Jackson since late December because of an ankle injury.
Detroit is playing its second game with newly acquired star Blake Griffin.