Tyler Herro walks back to the bench after the end of the first quarter in game three, with a chirping LeBron James in his ear. He doesn’t even react to one of the best players to ever play the game, mostly since Jimmy Butler did that for him.
That wasn’t the only instance that he had people trying to get in his head. Late in the first quarter, Tyler attacked the rim on a fast-break with two guys in front of him and a trailing LeBron James. LeBron blocked his shot, and sent Tyler to the floor hard. Markieff Morris decided to stand over him and wait for him to get up, so he could let him know. Tyler Herro decided to push him out of the way to show that he wasn’t backing down.
To put that in perspective, this Lakers team is going at a 20 year old rookie, who is the youngest player to ever start in an NBA finals.
They’re not only going at him mentally, but also physically when on the floor. It seems as if they are more worried about Tyler Herro with the ball in his hands than Jimmy Butler who just scored 40 points.
And Tyler hasn’t even played to the best of his abilities in this Finals series. He is 17 for 48 from the field through the first three games, but still makes the Lakers defense uncomfortable when on the floor.
But ultimately, Tyler is being asked to play a role that he hasn’t played much of all season, on the biggest stage possible. Without Goran Dragic, he is the main ball-handler on the team. Goran was a guy that took a lot of the load off Tyler all season, which he has mentioned a lot in the past about how comfortable he is when he shares the floor with Goran.
This meant that he had to not only adjust quick, but also grow up quick. And he has done exactly that.
He has the most dynamic offensive abilities on this roster, which means he can explode at any moment. Confidence has nothing to do with it since he doesn’t lack an ounce of it, but rhythm seems to be the actual attribute. If he can get his shots to fall early on, this will take a lot of the load off of Jimmy Butler and the rest of the team.
Even when being the main focus for a team in the NBA finals, he still doesn’t shy away. He continues to get the ball at the end of games and attempt big time shots.
As Jimmy Butler said after game three, “I saw him just hoop. This isn’t a big stage for him, this is just basketball.” And well, Tyler will indeed need to go out there and just “hoop,” since that can ultimately win them another game in this series.