The Miami Heat have a bright future despite losing the 2020 NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games. As long as the team’s core of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro remains intact this offseason — and there is no indication any of those three players are going anywhere anytime soon — the Heat should be back in the title mix whenever next season starts.
When the 2020 playoffs started at Walt Disney World, the prevailing thought was the Heat would ultimately go as far as Butler and Adebayo would guide the team. While that was certainly the case, the play of Herro in the postseason was something not many pundits saw coming since he was a rookie.
However, Tyler Herro isn’t your normal rookie. The Wisconsin native has tremendous confidence and swag, and those two traits were on full display at the Walt Disney bubble in Orlando, Florida.
On the first day of Heat training camp, Miami knew it had a special youngster in Herro. The Heat veterans put the Kentucky alum on Butler in practice to test him and see if he was ready for the grind of the NBA.
Not only did Herro not back down from Butler, but he held his own on offense against the All-Star small forward and showed everyone in the Heat organization he was going to fit right in with the Miami culture.
During the 2019-20 regular season, Herro averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from beyond the arc and 87.0 percent from the free-throw line. He hit countless big shots in the fourth quarter and was rewarded for his play by making the All-Rookie Second Team.
Usually in the playoffs, rookies don’t often get that much playing time unless they are a lottery pick. However, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra trusted Herro since he knew what the sharpshooter was capable of doing.
Herro played in all 21 games in the playoffs for the Heat and even started five games. He finished the 2020 postseason with averages of 16.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists and shot 43.3 percent overall, 37.5 percent from the 3-point line and 87.0 percent from the charity stripe.
In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, Herro etched his name in the history books by scoring 37 points. He became just the fourth player in NBA history to score 30 or more points in a playoff game before turning 21, joining Magic Johnson, Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings.
With the way the Heat’s season ended, you know that the players are going to be even more motivated to get back to the Finals next season and win it all. Butler told reporters after the Game 6 loss to the Lakers that his teammates were already talking about getting back in the gym to work on their games.
We can assume that Herro was one of those guys since he’s a hard worker who hates losing. Plus, Herro scored only seven points in Game 6 on 3-of-10 shooting, so he certainly wants to get the taste of losing out of his mouth as soon as possible. The only way to accomplish that is by getting in the gym and working on your flaws as a basketball player.
Moving forward, don’t be surprised if Tyler Herro is on an All-Star team alongside Butler and Adebayo. While his defense needs to improve, Herro is only 20 years old and has yet to even fill out body-wise. He’s going to get stronger, more mature on the court and will know the NBA game a lot better in Year 2 after playing in the NBA Finals in Year 1. He may not be an All-Star next season, but look for it to happen in the near future.