Heading into the NBA All-Star break at or near the top of one’s conference can play a major role in a team’s representation in the league’s annual showcase. Under normal circumstances, the Miami Heat would be benefiting from that bump in a major way right now.
However, thanks to injuries and COVID-19, this has been anything but a normal season for Miami.
While Heat stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo have been sterling when they’ve actually been on the floor, that has occurred a lot less than anyone would have liked this season.
The Heat may own a 31-17 record and the No. 1 spot in East as of this writing, but the proverbial next man up has played just as large a part as the team’s stars in making that happen. So, when the All-Star Game takes place next month, who (if anyone) should actually be making the trip from South Beach?
ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins has a pretty strong suggestion.
Perk: Tyler Herro Is an All-Star
In doing so, he made it clear that he subscribes to the notion that winning matters. However, instead of backing Butler or Adebayo, he served up a third option for the team’s earned All-Star spot.
“The Miami Heat is the Number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. With that being said it’s a must that they have someone representing them in the All-Star game!” tweeted Perkins. “Jimmy and Bam both missed too many games so I believe Tyler Herro should get the Nod!!! Carry the hell on…”
Despite the fact that Herro has only started 10 games for his team this season, Perkins is definitely on to something here. No other Heat player has had the same intersection of availability and efficacy on the court that Herro has had.
Moreover, his numbers put him in a spot that’s at or above some of the players who are considered All-Star shoe-ins.
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Herro Has Been Statistically Elite
Through 39 appearances this season, Herro has averaged 20.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while hitting 39% of his triples. Only four other players are logging a 20-4-4 line in 2021-22 while hitting the three-point shot at that rate or better.
In fact, counting Herro’s current season, only 16 players have managed such a feat since the 2017-18 campaign. It’s a list that includes the likes of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and other big-name ballers.
Meanwhile, Herro is 24th in the league in scoring average, 16th in free-throw shooting (at 87.5%) and 19th in usage rate (29.5).