The Miami Heat were only able to use eight players in their last matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers due to COVID contact tracing guidelines. On Monday the Heat released an injury report that had Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Avery Bradley, Goran Dragic, Moe Harkless, Udonis Haslem, Kendrick Nunn and KZ Okpala all listed as out. That left them with eight players, two of which were undrafted and have only a handful of professional games under their belts.
The 76ers won on Tuesday evening, 137-134, in a game that went to overtime and was ultimately dominated by Joel Embiid. You’ve already read this in Surya’s great recap that night, so why I am writing it again? I’m not, I want to start discussing “Herro Ball” and what it currently is and what I think it can become.
This fanbase all know who Tyler Herro is and we all love him but let’s start with Tuesday night: Herro finished the game with 34 points, a new career high, with seven rebounds and seven assists. Your first thought is probably “damn, what a game,” but then you dive deeper and his +/- was -17, which is just not good. But without Tyler the Heat are blown out, especially in the second half. Herro showed up in the clutch.
Here is my favorite play of the evening - Herro beating his man inside the key, forcing Embiid to step up which allows Herro to throw the lob to rookie Precious Achiuwa. The Heat were up four points with under a minute left in the game.
On the season Herro is averaging 18 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. His +/- is currently at -45, which again is obviously not great. What the Heat fanbase should start realizing and are gaining from this current mini COVID outbreak is that Herro can “run the show.” Yes his turnovers are up a bit from last season, but Tyler’s getting these early season opportunities to be on the court late and these meaningful minutes will pay off when it matters. In the last two Heat games, Herro has scored 32 points on 11/19 shooting in the fourth quarter and overtime. This is without Jimmy and Bam out there setting picks and playing their clutch minutes. I’d say “Herro Ball” is starting to become clutch basketball and important basketball.
I hope coach Erik Spoelstra gives Tyler significant runs with Jimmy, Bam, Goran and Duncan or Avery in the coming fourth quarters because he is earning it right now. Again, he’s only 20-years-old and his body is still developing — let alone his basketball ability. I love Goran late in games, he has the clutch gene no doubt, but having another threat that is confident on the ball in those moments never hurts and that killer instinct will develop Tyler to be the stud we all want him to be.
I’m not saying Tyler Herro is going to become the next Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, but watching Miami’s last game I could tell what these minutes meant not only to Tyler but to his teammates watching him and allowing him to run the show. You are watching in real time Herro develop and mature on the court in these late game moments and I for one could not be more impressed and excited for the future.