When discussing young players evolving and taking on a new role to thrive in, there’s always one major thing people like to hear heading into that: a comparison.
Not as much “how will he be utilized,” but instead “who will he be utilized like?”
And in terms of Tyler Herro, I think my answer may be a bit different from the rest. Heading into his third season as the true bucket getter off the bench, player comps are flying. Most of them are linked to recent sixth man of the year winners such as Jordan Clarkson and others, but there’s one guy Herro will be playing exactly like.
Tyler Herro. Just a few years back.
Let’s take it all the way back to high school. Even though he was playing “point guard” at times during that stage, it wasn’t truly as a pure passer. By point guard, I mean he crossed the half-court line with the ball in his hands, and a lot of the time, that was a signal for a mixture of moves before putting the ball in the basket.
There were constant descriptions and adjectives floating around his game at the time, and that continues to the present day. Words like confidence (or drip), always come up when discussing Herro, and that’s due to his play-style being a bit different.
But the word that many may be overlooking is freedom. He had that at the high school level when he knew night in and night out that he had the complete green light, and that’s exactly what Erik Spoelstra will be giving him this season.
Coach Spo has been 100% confident in Herro since day one which goes a long way. In his rookie season, playing closing minutes on a nightly basis, before transitioning that same comfort in him during the bubble run. (Which by the way, Herro put together his 37 point playoff display exactly one year from the day.)
There was never a doubt this team trusted him in any scenario, but the freedom element must now kick in, and the roster construction proves they’re doing just that. They went from a team with total offensive firepower and defensive holes to quite the opposite. And the offensive questions will be pointing right at Herro to take control of this season.
Speaking of that green light that seems to be on the way, here’s the percentages of Herro in his highest FGA of the season: 46%, 38%, 55%, 60%, 47%, 71%.
Up to this point, giving him scoring freedom has always translated really well. And if the efficiency stuff carries over, they’ve got exactly what they’ve been looking for.
Who do I see him playing like this season?
Well, a senior year Tyler Herro essentially. Crossing that half-court line with the ball in his hands and one thought on his mind: putting the ball in the basket. Ever since his rookie season, he’s been one step ahead. Expectations were so high because he set the bar high early on.
But after continually being a few years ahead, it’s time to revert back in the slightest fashion to maximize his talent. We’ve talked endlessly about the ways Miami will use him heading into the year, but the overarching topic is how he elects to approach the role given to him.
From constant on-ball reps in high school to straight spot-up reps in college, it’s time for Herro to connect the dots on his early years. And the common denominator among these different basketball levels is clearly the freedom he played with.
That returns this season.
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