Heat Notes: Herro, Robinson, Morris, Tucker

Tyler Herro has rebounded from a difficult season to become the NBA’s leading candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, and he said the trials of last season inspired him, writes Wes Goldberg of The Miami Herald. Herro made an immediate impact as a rookie in 2019/20, helping the Heat reach the NBA Finals. But that was followed by a short offseason and then a second season where nothing came as easily.

“If last year didn’t happen I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at right now,” Herro said. “I just took it as motivation to get myself better, mentally and physically.”

Miami made Herro its starting point guard at the beginning of last season, but he only held the job for 14 games before being sent back to the bench. A few months after being hailed as a rookie sensation, he was frequently mentioned as trade bait, with rumors lasting throughout the summer. With a more standard offseason to work on his game, Herro improved his play-making and now handles that role for the second unit.

“It’s a lot mentally to try to block the noise out,” Herro said. “I knew that I would eventually get to an offseason where I could relax and decompress and get myself back to where I wanted to be.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Duncan Robinson credits former NBA guard J.J. Redick for helping him stay confident when his shot wasn’t falling earlier this season, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Robinson was feeling pressure to deliver after signing a $90MM contract, but Redick told him to relax and keep shooting. “He’s seen it all in this league, offered me some words of encouragement,” Robinson said. “His advice stuck. I talked to Redick. I talked to a bunch of people. I’m fortunate to have a lot of people in my corner willing to lend a word and ear, whatever I need.”
  • On Friday, coach Erik Spoelstra used Markieff Morris as the backup center in place of Dewayne Dedmon for the second time this week, Jackson observes in the same piece. Caleb Martin understands that other players have to help on the glass when the team employs a small-ball lineup, saying they need to show “pride on the perimeter to get more rebounds. We’ve got to do more jobs as wings to try to help the bigs.”
  • Spoelstra would like to give P.J. Tucker some rest before the playoffs, but the veteran forward isn’t on board, Jackson adds. “Every time I’ve suggested it, he’ll just laugh in my face,” Spoelstra said. “Sometimes he’ll scowl at me. With the schedule right now, I don’t think we have to [rest him]. We’ll see when we get there.”
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