The Miami Heat beat the Washington Wizards on Friday night, but the main discussion following the game was about the changing role that could occur moving forward. Goran Dragic started in front of Tyler Herro for the night, while Herro looked very comfortable in that bench role.
Anyway, here’s a look into his offensive performance last night…
– Herro reading a defense, exposing drop coverage
Herro has discussed in the past his comfort level when playing against a drop coverage, without going into details for obvious reasons. His unique pull-up mid-range game allows him to thrive off pick and rolls at an efficient rate.
On this play, Jimmy Butler slips off of an off-ball screen, leading to Rui Hachimura switching onto Herro. He then gets the ball on the wing as Bam Adebayo steps up to set the screen. Herro then finds himself socially distanced from the dropping Alex Len and the trailing Hachimura, leading to a bucket on his favorite part of the floor.
– Confident jumpers mean efficient jumpers
This part of Herro’s game is obvious, since confidence is what makes his entire offensive game flow. After seeing the shot attempt a few nights ago, where he took a few dribbles before shooting a wide open corner three, made it seem his shooting confidence was not as high as it once was.
As seen here, this is his most fluid way to shoot a three. Catch and shoot while running full speed up the floor. The reason for that exactly probably has more to do with mechanics than mentality, since he uses his legs much more on those types of shots.
Playing as a reserve allows even more opportunities for shots like this, since he’s without the pressure of being the primary distributor.
– Herro-Achiuwa PnR equals many options
Taking a dive into the Herro and Precious Achiuwa pick and roll is something I did fairly recently, but it still seems necessary to point out the many options with this exact set.
Achiuwa has one offensive role that he plays perfectly, which simply means set the screen, roll to the basket, and be ready for the lob pass or clean up on a shot attempt.
Herro takes a contested jumper on the baseline, while two Washington players go for the box out on the energized Achiuwa. He could tell the shot was short as soon as it left his hands, which led to the offensive rebound. But the way he put the ball right back up with zero hesitation stands out even more.
Some players I’ve discussed don’t look at the rim enough, which is why those guys need to watch that part of Herro’s game a bit more.
– Fast paced offense leads to all eyes on Herro
As Herro leads the charge with this specific unit, the defense is aware that he’s the go to scorer, especially when playing with a lead in a fast paced offense.
As describe previously, his pull-up threes are some of his favorite, which is the main reason for this type of play favoring him. The reason this play stood out, though, is because of the way defenders react to him. As he brings the ball up the floor here, all five defenders are totally focused on him, which ultimately led to a corner three for Kelly Olynyk.
– The Butler-Herro connection is clear off drive and kicks
Butler-Herro drive and kicks has been something they have been pretty great with since last year’s regular season. When Butler is aggressive, defenses begin to collapse and shooters find themselves open.
On this play, Herro’s ability to read Butler is very impressive. As Herro acts like he’s clearing out to the top of the key, he immediately reacts to get in front of the pass for Butler to hit him in an open area. These small things won’t look so small when it’s utilized in a tight game, where they catch the defense off-guard.
– The bench role means offensive freedom
One of the biggest changes for Herro going from starter to reserve last night, is the level of freedom he can play with in the offense. No Butler on the floor, no Adebayo on the floor, and no Dragic on the floor means Herro has a fully controlled offense.
As seen by his loose cross-overs, he began playing with a different type of freedom, since the starting role seems to make him tense at times with the many things on his plate.
He also notices that since he’s the go to guy on the floor, he needs to do go to guy things, which means attacking the basket to draw fouls. If he can get to the free throw line a bit more due to offensive aggression, that may be the part of his scoring package that can absolutely elevate him.
– More drop coverage exposure
It feels necessary to show another moment from the game with Herro exposing drop coverage, except this time the defender goes under the screen.
Once he notices the defender going under, he stops at the exact spot on the floor that was needed, leading to yet another basket. Going back to my point about him shooting triples while running full speed, this falls under that category as well, since he shoots so well when stopping on a dime.
– The Herro lob pass much different than other Heat guards
To look at Herro’s passing for a moment, it’s been obvious that his lob passes have been much better this season. Dragic has been throwing them much more, as well as some others, but there’s one major difference between them and Herro.
He passes them in a very loose way, which means it’s hard for a defender to tell if it’s a shot attempt or a pass attempt. He throws a lot of them underhand, as seen on this play, which may seem easier to defend, but it’s harder to predict. These types of attributes showcase his overall talent to be more unique than some may realize.