Report: Miami Heat to closely observe Tyler Herro in coming days as ‘significant’ optimism remains for Finals return

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There is continued optimism that Tyler Herro will return from injury to play for the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets, but it remains unclear when that might be.

The Athletic reported Tuesday that though there is no specific date for the guard to return, he has been ramping up his work.

“I’m told there remains significant optimism that Herro will return in the Finals, though there is still no definitive target date and his status will be determined by the medical and coaching staff, who will have him under close observation in the coming days,” Shams Charania wrote in the report.

Herro has a chance to play again this season thanks to Miami’s Game 7 victory against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday. The Heat had lost three games in a row before getting a 103-84 victory that sent them to the Finals against the Nuggets. Game 1 of that series is Thursday at Denver, and Game 2 is there on Sunday.

Reports in the aftermath of the conference-clinching win suggested Herro was targeting Game 3 of the Finals to return. That would be next Wednesday at Miami.

Herro fractured his hand in Game 1 of the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks on April 16 and has not played since. The recovery time was revealed to be at least six weeks, and Herro was holding out hope that he could get back if the Heat advanced through the playoffs.

But as recently as last week, it was reported he was not close to being able to return.

Herro was Miami’s third-leading scorer during the regular season at 20.1 points per game. But the Heat have found a way to succeed in the playoffs without him, with Caleb Martin particularly picking up the offense.

Martin scored 26 points in the Game 7 win against Boston and is averaging 14.1 points per game during the playoffs after averaging 9.6 points per game during the regular season. Gabe Vincent has also increased his scoring from 9.4 points per game during the regular season to 13.1 points per game so far in the playoffs.

Having Herro back would give the Heat another scoring option, which is likely to be needed against the Nuggets, who feature a dynamic tandem of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Denver swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.