Guard’s Resurgence Makes Miami Heat Unstoppable in Playoffs: B/R

Tyler Herro

Getty Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 29, 2021 in New York City.

The Miami Heat took a tough 109-107 loss during Game 1 against Milwaukee Bucks, proving analysts right who predicted this would be a very intense best-of-seven series.

Before Game 2 on Monday, Bleacher Report’s Mandela Namaste raised the hope that Miami can not only reroute this series but that they can finish off the Eastern Conference and return to the Finals. The “X-Factor” in making this musing a reality lies in the resurgence of Tyler Herro.

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In Bleacher Report‘s “Every NBA Playoff Team’s Biggest X-Factor,” Mandela says Miami can once again be unstoppable if Herro can bust out of his sophomore slump:

After a thrilling postseason run in 2020, the Kentucky alum fell flat to start the year, shooting just 41.5 percent overall and 32.6 percent from three through the end of March. It was a disappointing follow-up, given how much promise Herro had shown in high-leverage situations last fall, but with Miami’s offseason being so truncated, his sluggishness made some sense.
Now, since April 1 and since the Heat have started to come around once more, Herro has returned to form and then some, shooting 50.5 percent overall and 45.1 percent from three to end the regular season.

Mandela notes that if Herro can stay confident and deliver as a “quality secondary playmaker for the Heat… then this may be last year’s team all over again… If the 21-year-old is able to rise to that occasion, then we may as well start talking about Miami as a Finals contender once again.”

Tyler Herro

GettyTyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat warms up before the game against the Detroit Pistons on May 16, 2021.

Hopefully, playing at the Fiserv Forum will ease Herro’s nerves, as Milwaukee is the young Boy Wonder’s hometown.

“I’ve been able to see my family a little bit,” Herro said. “They’re able to come to watch and it’s always good to see some of the people I grew up here with and Milwaukee. My parents and my brothers were here and a couple of my buddies.”

Herro, Adebayo & Butler All Struggled on Offense During Game 1

While speaking to the media on May 23, Herro discussed his troubles at the rim, along with the struggles of both Butler and Bam Adebayo. The 21-year-old Kentucky alum credited sharpshooter Duncan Robinson and veteran Goran Dragic for keeping the game extremely competitive.

“Between the three of us (Me, Jimmy, and Bam) we didn’t shoot the ball very well,” Herro said. “Duncan and Goran stepped up big. I feel like that gives us a bit of confidence because we know Jimmy and Bam as our best players are going to be able to shine throughout the series. We can’t really overreact to the missed shots. The shots are going to come. We’ll make shots as we go and see what happens.”

On May 22, Herro went 2 of 10, scoring just 10 points in 19 minutes of play against Milwaukee, a far cry from his dominant performance in the playoff bubble last season.

Heat vs Bucks

GettyMAY 22: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat shoots in the second quarter against Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks during Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at Fiserv Forum on May 22, 2021.

“Obviously, I think I can play a lot better than I played in Game 1,” Herro continued. “But I think ya know, the 3-point shooting that we had, being able to get in the lane with different guys, we’ll have a better game plan… Game 1 was a ‘game in the mud’ as coach likes to say, but I think going forward we’ll be able to play much better.”

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