Miami Heat guard and reigning sixth man of the year Tyler Herro was ruled out for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, missing his second straight game due to a groin injury, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported ahead of Wednesday’s pivotal game.
Celtics’ Marcus Smart will return tonight in Game 5 vs. Miami.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 25, 2022
Every other Heat player that was on the injury report — PJ Tucker, Gabe Vincent, Max Strus and Kyle Lowry, who were all given the QUESTIONABLE tag — will play.
In Game 4 without Herro, the Heat opened the game missing 14 consecutive shots, with Victor Oladipo knocking down their first field goal with 3:22 left in the first quarter to make it 18-4, the longest drought without a field goal in a playoff game in the last 25 years.
The Heat did not make a shot until 3:22 left in the 1st quarter, the longest drought without a field goal to start any playoff game over the last 25 years. pic.twitter.com/pKIBjxodDU— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 24, 2022
Barring anything drastic, that shouldn’t replicate itself in Game 5 ... at least one would think. Herro has struggled this series and throughout these playoffs, but would oftentimes be relied upon to stop a big run or inject some juice into the Heat offense off the bench mid-way through the first quarter.
The Heat will likely rely more on Victor Oladipo as one of the first player off the bench plus Duncan Robinson, who knocked down four (garbage time) 3-pointers in Miami’s 20-point loss Monday — his first game with multiple 3s since draining eight in Miami’s opening game of the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks.
Another #NextManUp game: Will Miami prevail to go up 3-2? Let’s anxiously wait and see!
Marcus Smart, Robert Williams both active for Celtics
Both Marcus Smart and Robert Williams will play tonight, the team announced.
#NEBHInjuryReport update:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 25, 2022
Marcus Smart - AVAILABLE
Robert Williams - AVAILABLE
AVAILABLE. pic.twitter.com/6ggALBxY6v— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 25, 2022
Both Williams and Smart were available together one game this series: Game 2, when Boston trounced Miami 127-102 at FTX Arena.
Smart, the defensive player of the year, and Williams, a second-team All-Defense honoree along with Miami’s Bam Adebayo, have made considerable impacts when they’re on the floor.
This season, when both have been on the floor together, they’ve outscored opponents by nearly 11 points per 100 possessions (10.99), per PBP Stats. Boston sports a league-best plus-20.6 NET Rating with the Smart-Brown-Tatum-Horford-Robert Williams quintet together in both the regular season and the playoffs (min. 250 minutes). Though in their four games together this postseason, they have a minus-8.8 NET Rating.
Neither will have a minutes restriction, either.
No minutes limit for either Marcus Smart or Robert Williams, though Ime Udoka said team will monitor both guys.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 25, 2022