The Miami Heat are in for a tough climb in the 2020 NBA Finals. They are down against the Los Angeles Lakers, 3-1, fighting the odds and the firepower of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Though they are shorthanded and now have zero room for errors, the Heat should still have a good amount of confidence since they have the deeper roster. James and Davis are the two best players in the series, but the next five are on Miami’s side.
Sensational rookie Tyler Herro is among that five. The 20-year-old has been showing out the entire season, unapologetically displaying his game against the best of them.
In fact, he just set a new record:
Few first-year pros in the NBA have had the chance to be in Herro’s position, and it’s great to see that he’s making the most out of it. Finding the last rookie to do so will take us back to 1980, when Magic Johnson guided the Lakers’ to its first of five titles in the decade.
It will be a stretch to say that Herro will be as decorated as a Magic Johnson (for now, at least), but it’s hardly a reach to claim that an All-Star selection may be in the near future.
Let’s list down some reasons why:
Herro is one of the Heat’s designated shooters, and he’s arguably the deadliest in the group – not to take anything away from Duncan Robinson and Jae Crowder, who have a better shooting percentage. Among the three, Herro has the edge in making contested or off-balanced attempts, and he’s still getting better at it.
Beyond outside shooting is also an ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. He’s patient too, and has some good instincts. Check out his smooth drive here:
At 20, he can only raise his game. It’s a good start that he’s already a threat inside and out, and that he won’t be buried under a lottery-bound or even a subpar team.
Heat fans have been accustomed to how fearless the kid is, but it’s pretty evident now since he’s able to showcase it in basketball’s biggest stage. The viral snarl in Game 3 is Herro’s attitude in a nutshell.
Rookies tend to play it safe when creating plays; Herro simply trust his abilities and goes for whenever he pleases. There’s a lot of moxie in the young man’s game and personality, and his coach at the University of Kentucky, John Calipari, probably said it best
Heat president Pat Riley, and Head Coach Erik Spoelstra to an extent, is known for heavily limiting rookies’ minutes, so it was a big deal that Herro and Kendrick Nunn were able to lock a spot in the rotation, Herro in particular.
Herro has gained the trust of the Heat front office and coaching staff, and it has catapulted into great heights thanks to this impressive playoff run. All that may very well result in a huge bump in playing time next season, which should be exciting to anticipate considering how good the Heat are at harnessing talent.
Then there’s also the support from his teammates. He’s surrounded by veterans and other young talent that complement his game and provide much-needed leadership, most notably Jimmy Butler. The All-Star has taken Herro under his wing, and it’s yet another huge plus for the youngster.
You know a rookie has great potential if a hard-nosed vet like Butler is propping him up.