Heat’s Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn Entering an Awaited Environment

This has been far from an ordinary two year NBA career for the rookies of last season, and more specifically, Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn. The only normality that they found over this past stretch of time was a Summer League in Las Vegas, where they first entered the scene for Miami.

After being thrown into the fire in their rookie season, it led to them trying to blend into a post-season environment like no other, the bubble. Herro stepping up and Nunn stepping down didn’t tell the full story of the futures of each prospect.

Playing in front of fans on a zoom call was far from being the real thing, and it’s something that Herro specifically has thrived off of his whole entire life. No matter if it was overrated chants in high school or doubters telling him he wouldn’t play when he got to Kentucky, the one place he always proved himself was in front of his home crowd on the big stage.

And well, he has that tonight.

Kendrick Nunn may not have the apparent bounce that Herro has in that environment, but it very well impacts him too, just in a quiet manner. When asked about the fans tonight, he responded, “I know it’s gonna be exciting, and we’re gonna feed off their energy.”

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Aside from the story-lines and boosts that these two will get, they’re in a unique spot at the moment. Both of Miami’s second year guys were the focal point in attacking the Bucks’ drop coverage in this match-up, since they’re the ones who can truly get to the dead spots on the floor in the mid-range area. But that hasn’t been the case up to this point.

After the struggles in games one and two, this game holds high importance for their post-season hopes. As Herro described it, “Our backs are against the wall and tonight is obviously a make or break game for us.” If they don’t take advantage of this opportunity tonight to get back into the series, the organization’s focus may have a major shift.

So, that seems like a lot on the shoulders of two inexperienced guys who are still adjusting to this fast-paced league. When I asked Goran Dragic about his advice to Herro and Nunn heading into this unique setting, his message was much simpler than expected: “Enjoy.”


That response may seem a little cliche, but that’s honestly the most useful advice that he could give. Both of them are at their bet when they’re confident and in rhythm, which is why enjoying the moment without getting caught up in the stakes is more important than anything else.

As Dragic said, if they do that, “I believe they’re gonna be ready.”

It’s not only on them to be ready, since the Heat’s stars, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, will have to bring it after their struggles in Milwaukee. And if they do, that opens up the shooting of Herro and Nunn, which one shot dropping through the net is the only thing they’ll need to see to be fully effective in this environment.

There was pressure in the bubble, but this is much different. And yet, much more beneficial.

 

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