Tyler Herro’s time in Miami has mattered

The Heat capturing the White Whale, Damian Lillard, likely means the end for Tyler Herro in Miami. There is a path to trading for Sub Zero (Lillard) that doesn’t include #14, but pulling off such a swap should get Portland’s Joe Cronin sent to the gulag. 


In four seasons, Herro logged 8,830 minutes in a Miami Heat uniform in the Playoffs and regular season. Of players who have spent their first four years with the team, only three have scored more: Dwyane Wade, Glen Rice and Rony Seikaly.  In the Playoffs, Wade is the lone name ahead of Herro.  


From the supernatural run the Heat went on in the bubble to the moment he dove for a loose ball that broke two bones in his hand, Herro was always a good soldier.  He earned the league’s reserve crown in 2022 while averaging 20.7 points nightly.  The following campaign, as a starter, he still recorded 20 points per game, but on a higher 3-point attempt rate and True Shooting percentage. 


Without Herro, the Heat went on another improbable run to the Finals but fell three wins short of the championship.  This gave his critics/detractors ammo to go on record, stating the squad was better without him. They’re wrong.  


Assuredly, the group plays differently if he doesn’t go down, but he was balling in Game 1 in Milwaukee before the injury.  Secondly, Herro’s availability doesn’t stop Jimmy Butler from incinerating defenders and schemes.  Had he been healthy, Bam Adebayo would’ve had one of his most-trusted playmakers feeding him lobs through the middle too. Herro only converted 37.8% of his attempted triples in the regular season, but somehow he wouldn’t be useful. Riddle me that.  


Before Game 2 of the Finals, Denver’s coach Michael Malone was asked about Herro’s potential impact on the series. He said, “We know what kind of talent he is” and elaborated on all his skills.  


Unfortunately for Herro, he couldn’t get back in time to help his team. In the previous Playoff run, he hurt his groin and played poorly before that. Sometimes players are unlucky until they aren’t.


At 23, Herro is far from his peak as a shot creator and is underestimated as a distributor. In 2023, he assisted on 19.1% of his teammates’ baskets, putting him in the 93rd percentile for his position.


On the attack, he is a drop coverage killer and finishes well within 3-10 feet of the basket (48.3%). 


Defensively, Herro spent 61.1% of the season matched up with guards. He held them to 44.7% shooting from the field.  In 2022, his Defensive Field Goal Percentage was 40.8%. 


 As a sixth man, a lot of his time came against other reserves, but it was balanced by playing 9.8 minutes in fourth quarters, good enough for eighth in the league that season.  As a starter, he was used just as much in the last intervals.


As of today, Herro is sixth in made 3-pointers (601) and 17th in points logged (4,272)  for the Heat.  He turned into one of the top five draft picks in franchise history because of his dedication to the lab.


His 37-point eruption in Game 4 of the 2020 East Finals, which came as a rookie, should always be remembered fondly in Heat lore.  That night, he was the best player on the court that Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown stood on to push the Heat to a 3-1 lead over the Boston Celtics.   


In 2022/2023, Herro logged the second-most minutes of all Heatles while being fifth in games played.  If this is the end, his time in White Hot mattered.  Wherever he ends up, his new outfit is getting a future All-Star.

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