Despite being a relatively young player in the NBA, it is safe to say that Miami Heat's Tyler Herro has already made a name for himself. The sophomore shooting guard shined in the 2020 playoffs, playing an integral role in the Miami Heat's impressive postseason run that saw them reach the NBA finals.
A Kentucky product, Tyler Herro, decided to forego the last three years of college in favor of declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft. He was projected to be a mid-first-round pick, and the Miami Heat ended up picking him with the 13th overall selection in the draft.
Role with the Miami Heat
Tyler Herro's role is to be an overall scoring threat, apart from facilitating plays on the half-court and holding his own on defense. The Heat also use him as a catch-and-shoot threat, which underlines his importance to the system.
Head coach Erik Spoelstra has mainly used Tyler Herro as an off-the-ball player, as Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic, and even Bam Adebayo have at times taken up playmaking duties.
However, Spoelstra entrusted the rookie with ball-handling duties in the playoffs last year - a trend that has carried onto the current campaign. This could be seen in terms of statistics as well, with Herro's assists numbers going up from 2.2 to 3.5 this year.
Season so far
Tyler Herro has posted an impressive stat line so far this season - 15.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game - considering he is in his second year. However, he is shooting poorly from the field at an uncharacteristically poor 40%. Tyler Herro assumed a bigger role in the absence of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. He also had to take up point guard duties for a brief interval.
A notable change can be witnessed from last season in Tyler Herro's shooting, which has regressed drastically. He is shooting 32% from behind the arc compared to 39% last season. This is a number he will have to improve on massively.
Strengths and Weaknesses
As fans and neutrals have witnessed in the last season and a half, Tyler Herro is incredible at creating shots for himself and making them at a respectable efficiency.
Herro has shown a nous for playmaking and can switch roles when needed - a skill that makes him indispensable to the Miami Heat.
Meanwhile, Tyler Herro's struggles on the ball's defensive side - especially guarding bigger players on a switch mismatch - have been massively exploited by opposition teams. A major example of this was against the LA Lakers in the finals last year, when LeBron James hunted him down on every possession.
Expectations from Tyler Herro going forward
Tyler Herro was projected to be an above-average 3&D player. But so far, he has exceeded expectations. He is working with a well-functioning organization and is under the tutelage of an excellent head coach. If he continues to improve, Herro could blossom into a perennial All-Star.
However, Herro has some serious work to do on his defensive awareness and physique. The second half of the season is a pivotal period for the Miami Heat, considering how badly injuries marred the first half of their campaign. Tyler Herro will have to do some heavy lifting along with the established talents to lift the team in the East.