During the Miami Heat‘s consecutive wins to open their second-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Tyler Herro was a walking bucket. The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year hit 15-of-27 shots en route to averaging 21.5 points per contest in Games 1 and 2.
Things were different when the teams went toe-to-toe for Game 3 on Friday, though. Philly coach Doc Rivers had seen enough of Herro tickling the twine and decided that the baller should have less room to operate. Consequently, he went 5-for-15 and scored 14 points in the game.
Meanwhile, the Heat were minus-16 when he was on the court.
“We trapped him more, which I thought was effective and we have to keep doing that,” Rivers said on Saturday, via the Miami Herald.
Nevertheless, for every move, there’s a countermove and Herro is confident he’ll be able to mix things up and get back to torching the Sixers in Game 4.
Herro Ready to Look At Himself & Make a Change
As Herro sees it, Philly has moved its chess piece, now it’s his turn to do the same. It’s the game within the game that he says he has been honing since October when the 2021-22 campaign tipped off.
“Really the whole regular season prepares you for the playoffs and moments like this,” Herro said. “They’re trapping me, putting a little bit more pressure on me, trying to get the ball out of my hands. So we just have to make adjustments, make the right play, make the simple play and just continue to watch film and make adjustments.”
For his part, Spoelstra believes that Herro will be able to zig when Philly expects him to zag when the series resumes on Sunday.
“They know when he’s ignitable that he creates so many more opportunities that are unscripted. They’re trying to eliminate some of those with those traps and they’ve done a very good job of putting a lot of pressure on him, making it tough for him to make passes out of the tap. I think he’ll be better with it.”
On the whole, Herro hasn’t played his best basketball against the Sixers. Over three regular-season games, he averaged 15.7 points while shooting 42.9% from the floor and 30% from deep.
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Sixers Fined for Injury Update Shenanigans
Without question, Joel Embiid’s return to the lineup was a turning point for the Sixers in the series. However, Philly may have put Miami in a tough spot by failing to properly appraise its opponent of his injury situation. At the least, the league office seems to believe that was the case.
The NBA announced on Saturday that it had levied a $50,000 fine on the Sixers for “violating league injury reporting rules,” noting that they hadn’t disclosed Embiid’s participation status in a timely manner.
Embiid had been listed as out and, later, doubtful, on the game-day injury report before suddenly rejoining the fray.