Tyler Herro was on a tear to start the season for the Miami Heat last year. He proved that he has the ability to get better each season as he was putting up big offensive numbers night in and night out off the bench. It was a beautiful sight for Miami, in which a lot of fans, including myself, didn’t know what to expect from Herro in 21’-22’.
Although seeing an increase in his PPG, coming off a 20’-21’ season of ups and downs and especially after that playoff performance against the Milwaukee Bucks, he had a lot to prove coming into last season. Against Milwaukee especially in 2021, Herro was a no-show. He seemed lost on both ends of the floor, and couldn’t get into a rhythm that entire series.
This resulted in lots of criticism for the young star, as expectations were certainly high following his outstanding rookie year and bubble performance, where Miami had made the NBA Finals just a year prior. People in the media and especially NBA fans did not hold back on Herro last year, labeling him a “bubble fraud” and bringing up rumors that Miami turned down a James Harden for Herro trade.
Fast forward to the early parts of last season, and the haters had nothing to say. With the numbers Herro was putting up, considering his age (22 years young) and star potential, turning down that Harden deal didn’t look nearly as bad. If anything, Herro was putting up similar, if not better, offensive stats at points last season compared to Harden. The year before that, where Herro struggled, he put up 15.1 points, 5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, on 43% shooting.
Those numbers are actually a little better than his rookie season, but just the overall impact wasn’t the same that year compared to his rookie year. For last season, he posted 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and on 44.7% shooting. He even improved both his free throw and three point percentage. Going from 80% to 87% and 36% to 40%, respectively. Herro had looked like a whole new player last year, as he was more consistent and efficient while showing fans that he has not nearly reached his ceiling yet.
Against the Detroit Pistons early in last season, Herro made some Heat history. It was his 2nd 30-point game off the bench, the most by any Heat player in a single season in franchise history.
I see a lot more games like this in the future for Herro and the Heat. The longer last season had gone on, the more comfortable he looked. In my opinion, season 20’-21’ was nothing but a sophomore slump, and he ran away with the 21’-22’ NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.
However, he did show signs of those playoff struggles last season for the second year in a row. He had a few solid outings, but ultimately did not look like how he did all year long. Then us Heat fans all got the news that he was playing hurt and even sat out in crucial games against Boston in the ECF. During the off-season, Herro stated that Miami could’ve won it all if him and others were healthy:
The one thing I can say about Herro is the man does not lack any confidence. He knows what he can do and the star potential he has. Herro noted in the summer that his plans were to crack Miami’s starting lineup. It looks like he has put in the work to prove he’s capable of that.
The trust that the Miami Heat organization has in Herro went public with some breaking news the other night. Miami agreed to extend Herro on a 4-year $130M deal.
Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro – the NBA’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year – has agreed on a four-year, $130 million contract extension, his agents Jeff Schwartz and Mike Lindeman of @Excelbasketball tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/n1Z1IW73PX— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 2, 2022
This is an exciting time as a Heat fan, as the team has locked up their future with long term deals for both Bam Adebayo and Herro, who are both 25 years old or younger. With the growth of Herro’s game and his stats improving every year, I don’t see this season being any different.
The young man has a long career ahead of him, and with an expected bigger role, maybe multiple All-Star appearances in this rising star’s future plans as well.