Seven games into this NBA season, Tyler Herro was playing the best basketball of his life.
The Miami Heat guard had scored at least 22 points in six consecutive games before an ankle injury that he suffered against the Memphis Grizzlies last November 9 abruptly cut short his run. It took almost six weeks for him to get back into game shape, but he did not miss a beat when he finally came back earlier this week in the Heat’s match versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Herro has now scored 25, 28, and 30 points in the three games since his return and his timing could not have been any better for Miami. Jimmy Butler has missed their last two outings with a calf injury and this has provided Herro the perfect opportunity to continue what he started this season.
The Heat have won both games that Butler has missed and Herro has been a major reason for these victories. In their nine-point win over the up-and-coming Orlando Magic, Herro not only led the team in scoring, but also led them in rebounds (8) and assists (7). His points came from all over the floor and the two-man game that he ran with Bam Adebayo gave the Magic fits throughout the contest.
The 2022 NBA Sixth Man of the Year picked up from where he left off in the first quarter of Miami’s next and most recent game, a 122-113 victory against the Atlanta Hawks, as he dropped 14 of his team-high 30 points in the first quarter. He set the tone for the Heat early on as they built a seven-point lead by the end of the opening period.
The 6’5 guard then hit two crucial three-pointers late in the fourth quarter, combining with reserve Duncan Robinson to put the Hawks away.
Herro is now averaging a career-high in points (24.2), three-pointers (3.4), assists (4.4), and steals (1.3) per game and his breakout season is definitely a welcome development for the Heat. Though Miami managed to make it all the way to the NBA Finals despite him only suiting up for one playoff game due to injury, this team as presently constructed needs him at his best if they are to get over the hump and finally win it all.
This early season form from Herro is an encouraging sign for the Heat, yet he must stay healthy if this team is to ever reach its full potential. Injuries have been a recurring theme throughout his five-year stay with Miami which has led to many “what-ifs” for this team. However, hope always springs eternal and if this Heat team can stay healthy come the playoffs, their trio of Butler, Adebayo, and Herro should make them a force to reckon with once again and a dark horse to win the NBA championship.