Tyler Herro

Heat Notes: Robinson, Adebayo, Herro, Oladipo, Haslem

Less than a year after signing a five-year, $90MM contract with the Heat, Duncan Robinson was replaced in the starting lineup by minimum-salary wing Max Strus and then fell out of the rotation completely in the second round of the postseason. As Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald relays, Robinson admitted this week that it wasn’t easy to take that role reduction in stride.

“It does not matter if you’re playing JV basketball, if you’re playing middle school basketball, if you’re playing college basketball, if you’re playing in the NBA at the highest level. Not playing, it sucks in a lot of ways,” Robinson said in the latest episode of his podcast. “Especially when you feel that you’re capable and you feel that you can help win. It’s a really, really challenging feeling to combat, especially when you’re on the cusp and in the midst of a run where your team is playing really well.”

Robinson is the Heat’s most prolific three-point shooter, making 232 threes and converting them at a 37.2% rate during the 2021/22 season. However, he’s not an especially strong defender, so if his shot isn’t falling, he sometimes struggles to have an impact on the game. Heat president of basketball operations Pat Riley believes there’s room for Robinson to raise his level on the defensive end of the court.

“Defensively as a young player, even though he’s not as young as some of the other guys, he’s got to get better,” Riley said on Monday, per Chiang. “Look, we hang our hat on that. … To me, yes Duncan can improve. That message has been delivered to him many times.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • While the Heat will make an effort to upgrade their roster in free agency and on the trade market this summer, they’ll also be counting on internal improvement from players like Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, Chiang writes in another story for The Miami Herald. Riley suggested this week that he feels both Adebayo and Herro, who are just 24 and 22 respectively, still have room to grow.
  • After missing much of the 2021/22 season while recovering from quad surgery and then being incorporated slowly into the rotation, Victor Oladipo was starting to look a little more like his old self by the end of the Heat’s season. With Oladipo’s contract set to expire, Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel wonders what sort of role – and how much money – Miami will feel comfortable offering the two-time All-Star in free agency.
  • In another Sun Sentinel article, Winderman looks at the decision facing Udonis Haslem, who has no interest in becoming a coach and is weighing whether or not to play a 20th NBA season.

Pat Riley Address Offseason, Herro, Lowry, Tucker, Retirement

Heat president Pat Riley is generally happy with the current roster but is open to acquiring another impact player if the right trade comes along, Nick Friedell of ESPN relays.

“I like the team that we have,” Riley said. “I like the core, so let’s see where we can go internally and let’s see where we can go if something presents itself. If that’s a viable option.”

As for acquiring another star, Riley wants to make sure that player will fit into the team’s culture, not to mention future payroll, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

“If there’s something from outside that unveils itself that doesn’t cost us an arm and a leg, I would always be interested in looking at that,” he said. “But I think we have what we need internally.”

Riley held his annual postseason press conference on Monday. Friedell and Chiang have the details on numerous topics that Riley addressed:

  • Responding to Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro expressing his desire to become a starter, Riley said he’s got to earn it by improving defensively. “He’s 22, he’s 21, 22 years old so the next step for him, and I think we’re seeing this in the league, if you want to win a championship, and you want to be a starter, you really have to become a two-way player today,” Riley said. “And you have to improve in certain areas of your game.”
  • Kyle Lowry needs to improve his conditioning, in Riley’s assessment. “The bottom line with me and for me as far as hoping that you can get the most out of a player — is that you got to be in world-class shape. You just have to be,” he said.
  • P.J. Tucker has a $7.35MM player option for 2022/23 and if he turns it down, Riley will try to re-sign the veteran forward. “P.J. is a cornerstone,” Riley said. “I would love to have Tuck back next year. He’s part of our core. He’s special.”
  • The sting of losing Game 7 to Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals hasn’t dissipated. “We have a lot of real experienced veterans and so we put together a team that got to the Eastern Conference finals and it was bitter, it was a bitter loss,” he said. “The dragon hasn’t actually left my body yet from that loss.”
  • Retirement is not on Riley’s agenda. “I’m 77 years old and right now I can do more pushups than you can do right now,” he said.

Heat Notes: Herro, Vincent, Tucker, Roster

Heat guard Tyler Herro believes he has earned a starting role with the team next year, prompting Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel to explore whether such a role change would make sense. Herro won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award this season, averaging 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 66 regular-season games.

“I would like to start,” Herro said during a recent media availability. “I think it’s my fourth year, so hopefully, I’ve earned it, and we’ll see what happens.”

Assuming Miami doesn’t trade Herro, starting him would give them another halfcourt point-of-attack, which would be useful against elite Eastern Conference defenses such as Milwaukee or Boston. In addition to being the Heat’s second-leading scorer, Herro also shot a career-high 45% from the floor and 40% from three-point range this season.

Here are some other notes out of Miami:

  • In a separate story for the Sun Sentinel, Ira Winderman examines whether Gabe Vincent provides a solution to the team’s depth issues at point guard. Kyle Lowry dealt with a strained hamstring during the playoffs, which allowed Vincent to play more minutes at times. In 18 playoff games, he averaged 8.0 points and 3.2 assists per contest, shooting 38% from the floor and 31% from behind the arc.
  • Winderman also considers whether the team’s power forward carousel will stop with P.J. Tucker. The Heat started Jae Crowder in its 2020 NBA Finals run, then experimented with Kelly Olynyk and Trevor Ariza in 2021. The team ultimately signed Tucker to fill the role last summer, but he can become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
  • Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald provides a player-by-playe rroster breakdown for the offseason. Miami is coming off a seven-game defeat to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. The team was the No. 1 seed in the East this season, but dealt with several injuries in the playoffs.

Heat Notes: Herro, Martin, Haslem, Offseason

After earning Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2022, Heat guard Tyler Herro isn’t interested in winning the award again in 2023. He said during his end-of-season media session on Tuesday that he’d rather have a spot in Miami’s starting five next season, as Nick Friedell of ESPN writes.

“Yeah, for sure,” Herro said. “In some way, I would like to start. I think it’s my fourth year, so I think I’ve earned it, and we’ll see what happens.”

It will be a big offseason for Herro, who will be eligible for a contract extension as he prepares to enter the final season of his four-year rookie contract. The Heat will have to take into account the 22-year-old’s impressive regular season (20.7 PPG, 4.0 APG on .447/.399/.868 shooting) and his underwhelming postseason (12.6 PPG, 2.8 APG on .409/.229/.926 shooting), as well as their cap situation going forward.

“I’m not sure yet, honestly, what’s going to happen,” Herro said, per Friedell. “We’ll see what happens this summer. My agent (Jeff Schwartz) will talk to who he needs to talk to, and we’ll see what happens.”

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Caleb Martin said on Tuesday that he’ll be “open-minded” as he enters restricted free agency this summer, but his preference would be to remain in Miami, according to Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “I want to be here. I got better here. I believe I’ll get better here,” Martin said.
  • Udonis Haslem said he plans to “take my time” before deciding whether or not he’ll return for a 20th season in 2022/23, per Jackson and Chiang. The NBA’s oldest player, Haslem will turn 42 next Thursday, but appears to have a place on the Heat’s roster for as long as he wants to play. He remains interested in a role with the organization – preferably as part of the ownership group – once he eventually retires.
  • In a separate story for The Miami Herald, Jackson takes an in-depth look at what’s on tap for the Heat this offseason, including potentially negotiating new deals with Martin and P.J. Tucker, who holds a $7.35MM player option for 2022/23. Jackson also considers whether Miami has a viable path to trading for a star this summer.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) and Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype shared their Heat offseason previews, with a focus on a possible extension for Herro.

Tyler Herro To Return In Game 7

Heat guard Tyler Herro (groin strain) will warm up with the intent of playing in Sunday’s Game 7 against the Celtics, the team announced on social media (Twitter link). The other players on the official injury report — Kyle Lowry, Max Strus, P.J. Tucker and Gabe Vincent — will do the same.

Herro suffered the injury during the second half of Game 3. He missed Games 4, 5 and 6 as a result, with Miami going 1-2 during those outings. The Heat have missed his scoring presence, as the 22-year-old averaged 20.7 points per game on 45% shooting this season.

Herro’s production has dropped during the playoffs. In 14 games, he’s averaged 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 26.7 minutes per contest, shooting 41% from the floor and just 23% from distance.

Herro won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award this season. He made significant progress in his recovery, one that could’ve lasted two-to-four weeks during the regular season, as ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne previously reported (video link).

Eastern Notes: Adebayo, Herro, Knicks, Nets

Heat star Bam Adebayo didn’t have a problem with the team getting fined $25K for its “bench decorum” in Game 6, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel writes. While this shouldn’t come as a surprise, Adebayo did have a positive way of looking at it, explaining why the fine didn’t bother him.

“At the end of the day, it just shows how much support your teammates have for you, to the point we get fined,” Adebayo said.

The Heat aren’t the only team to be fined for violating bench decorum rules this postseason, as the Mavericks were fined three separate times for a total of $175K for the same issue. According to the NBA, several Heat players stood for an extended period in the team bench area. They were on, encroached upon or entered the court during live game action.

Here are some other Eastern Conference notes:

  • The Heat remain concerned about Tyler Herro‘s injury in the short term, Ira Winderman writes in a separate story for the Sun-Sentinel. Herro, who suffered a groin strain earlier in the team’s series against Boston, was the club’s second-leading scorer at 20.7 points per game this season and won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, so his absence has naturally been felt. “It’s a sensitive injury, so got to take his time,” Adebayo said of Herro.
  • Steve Popper of Newsday explores whether the Knicks or the Nets are in a better spot going forward. The Knicks entered 2021/22 coming off a successful campaign with a young core, but their season became rife with injuries and chemistry issues. The Nets had championship expectations, but Kyrie Irving‘s part-time availability, James Harden‘s trade request and Joe Harris‘ season-ending injury harmed their hopes.
  • Brian Lewis of the New York Post examines why the Nets‘ lack of length is no longer an issue they can live with by simply scoring more. Brooklyn was often overmatched in its first-round series against Boston, playing two or three point guards at a time against the Celtics’ bigger lineup. The team simply lacked wing depth, something that Harris and Ben Simmons can help address when they play next season.

Heat Notes: Herro, Strus, Butler, Tucker

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra isn’t ready to announce a decision on Tyler Herro‘s availability for tonight’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, tweets Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald.

Herro is suffering from a left groin strain that has forced him to miss the last three games. He underwent a morning workout today to test his condition, and Spoelstra said afterward that he remains questionable to play tonight. A final decision will be made closer to tipoff, which is set for 8:45 pm Eastern Time.

“It’s a sensitive injury,” teammate Bam Adebayo said (Twitter link from Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “He has to take his time.”

Herro suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Game 3, leaving the Heat without an important component of their offense. The 2021/22 Sixth Man of the Year is averaging 13.5 PPG in 14 playoff games, but his three-point shot has been off as he’s connecting at just 23.2% from long distance.

There’s more from Miami:

  • If Herro isn’t available, the Heat will need another strong game from Max Strus, who has delivered them frequently throughout the playoffs, notes Nick Friedell of ESPN. After missing all of his shots in Games 4 and 5, Strus bounced back in Game 6, delivering 13 points and three three-pointers. Getting significant playoff minutes for the first time in his career, Strus has started all 17 games for Miami and is averaging 11.1 points per night.
  • Jimmy Butler‘s aggressiveness in attacking the basket made the difference for Miami Friday night, ESPN’s Kirk Goldsberry observes in the same piece. Butler drove into the lane 23 times in Game 6, compared to 10 times in Game 4 and nine times in Game 5. He scored 20 of his 47 points in the paint and had 11 more at the free throw line.
  • P.J. Tucker said he expected Spoelstra to be “a dictator” and was pleasantly surprised to find that the coach is different behind the scenes, per Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Tucker, who signed with Miami after winning a title in Milwaukee last season, said Spoelstra can be forgiving of minor infractions such as being a few minutes late to practice and he accepts input from players. “I think he knows how hard I work,” Tucker said. “I think it makes it a little easier when you know a guy’s out there and is going to give the coverage that he chooses 110 percent and work through it and through the progressions, if it works or doesn’t work.”

Heat Notes: Injuries, Butler, Herro, Oladipo, Fine

The Heat aren’t complaining about their injury situation as they prepare to host Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

Jimmy Butler became the latest addition to the injured list, twisting an ankle in the latter stages of his magnificent performance Friday night in Boston. Butler, who is expected to play Sunday, is also dealing with inflammation in his right knee that forced him to miss the second half of Game 3. Kyle Lowry, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus all have hamstring issues, and Tyler Herro has missed the last three games due to a strained groin.

“This time of year, there’s nobody 100% healthy, both sides,” P.J. Tucker said. “I’m sure they got a bunch of guys, too, just trying to figure it out and give what they can. Try to win. That’s it. You can’t get these days back. It’s living in the moment, trying to just do what you can.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • The Heat are adopting a “wait and see” approach regarding Herro’s status for Game 7, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. Coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters that Herro will have a daytime workout on Sunday, and the medical staff will determine whether he’s able to play. Spoelstra said before Friday’s game that Herro has “made progress” with the injury, but added that sitting him out was “the most responsible decision for us,” Friedell states in a full story.
  • In an interview with Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel, ESPN’s Bobby Marks projects the value of 12 Miami players for next season as if they were all free agents. Among the most interesting is Victor Oladipo, who actually will be a free agent — Marks believes Oladipo will be worth the $10.3MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception after playing on a veteran’s minimum deal this season. The Heat have Bird rights on the two-time All-Star, so they wouldn’t need to use their MLE to re-sign him at that number, but Winderman isn’t sure that the organization is willing to offer that much.
  • The Heat were fined $25K for “violating league rules regarding team bench decorum,” the NBA announced on Twitter. The league said players stood for an extended time in the bench area, stood away from the bench and were encroaching on the court during Friday’s game.

Herro To Miss Game 6; Smart, R. Williams Active

6:36pm: Smart and Williams will both be active for Boston, reports Tim Bontemps of ESPN (via Twitter).

6:06pm: Heat guard Tyler Herro is expected to be sidelined for Friday’s Game 6 against Boston, league sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Herro suffered a left groin strain in Game 3 and will now miss Games 4, 5 and 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals with the injury. He was a limited participant in the team’s shootaround this morning, but “experienced discomfort while sliding defensively,” Haynes reports.

Head coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed that Herro will be out, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

He’s definitely made progress, but he’s not quite ready to step into this kind of intensity of a game,” Spoelstra said.

It makes sense to be cautious with a muscle strain, as they can be notoriously tricky to deal with and easily re-injured, like what happened with teammate Kyle Lowry‘s hamstring strain in the previous series. Lowry hasn’t looked like himself since he originally sustained the injury more than a month ago.

After averaging 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists on .447/.399/.868 shooting in 66 regular season games (32.6 minutes), Herro saw his numbers drop off in the postseason, averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists on .413/.232/.926 shooting in 14 games. Still, his absence will certainly be felt by the Heat, as they’ve struggled mightily to score without the Sixth Man of the Year winner, posting just 82 points in Game 4 and 80 in Game 5, both losses.

On Boston’s side, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka told reporters, including Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link), that both Marcus Smart and Robert Williams are game-time decisions for the potential close-out contest. Boston currently leads Miami 3-2.

Smart and Williams had previously been listed as questionable, and it seems we won’t know their status until later this evening. Game 6 tips off at 7:30pm CT on ESPN.

Herro Out For Game 5; Smart, R. Williams Active

Heat guard Tyler Herro (left groin strain) will miss Wednesday’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, tweets Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra said Herro was itching to return to action after missing Game 4’s 102-82 blowout loss, but the team’s training staff thought it would be irresponsible to let him play, so he was held out (Twitter link via Jackson). The groin injury isn’t considered to be a long-term concern, but obviously the Heat are being cautious with their Sixth Man of the Year winner after seeing Kyle Lowry re-injure his hamstring against Philadelphia.

The Celtics will have their full starting lineup intact for the first time this series, as both Marcus Smart (sprained right ankle) and Robert Williams (knee soreness) will be active tonight, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link). Smart missed Game 4 with the injury, while Williams missed Game 3.

Boston head coach Ime Udoka said the Defensive Player of the Year isn’t 100 percent healthy, but his mobility is “good enough” to play through the pain.

He (Smart) has enough movement where he’s not restricted in certain areas like a few days ago,” Udoka said.

As for Williams, Udoka said he won’t have any type of minutes restriction, but added that the team is hopeful to reduce his minutes if possible (Twitter links via Weiss).

All three players had previously been listed as questionable for Wednesday’s crucial Game 5. The series is currently tied at two games apiece.

Miami holds home-court advantage and would host a potential Game 7 if it gets that far, but Boston has looked like the slightly better team through four games, posting a +7.7 net rating. In our poll earlier today, a bit more than 72 percent of our readers predicted the Celtics to advance to the NBA Finals.

With Herro sidelined, Victor Oladipo, who has emerged as a regular part of the Heat’s rotation since midway through the first-round series vs. Atlanta, figures to once again play significant minutes. Oladipo contributed 23 points, four rebounds and six assists in Game 4, but unfortunately for Miami, he outscored the entire starting lineup (23 to 18). The Heat will need a much more balanced effort to take Game 5 and the lead in the series.