The longer the Miami Heat keep their playoff run alive, the more realistic a possible Tyler Herro return starts to seem.
However, fans hoping to see the 23-year-old back on the floor in the immediate future may want to pump the breaks on their expectations, as Herro still isn’t shooting or dribbling due to his injury.
Erik Spoelstra says Tyler Herro won’t play in Game 1 of the East finals, as expected. But Spoelstra declined to give an update beyond that, noting that Herro still can’t shoot or dribble.
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) May 15, 2023
The expectation since last month has been that it would take a run to the NBA Finals for the Heat to potentially get Herro back this season. The squad is almost there, but it’s about to deal with arguably its toughest obstacle yet in the form of the Boston Celtics.
In all likelihood, Herro won’t be able to play during the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston. If that’s the case, the team will miss his 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game from the regular season.
But the good news is that Miami has found a nice rhythm without him in recent weeks, and if that continues, perhaps the team’s magical run will too.
It’s no secret that the Heat are likely to be at a talent disadvantage during their series against the Celtics, especially given Herro’s status. However, they may have the edge in the coaching department.
Miami’s Erik Spoelstra has proven time and time again that he’s capable of coaching circles around certain opponents, and he’s certainly going to do his best to make life tough on Boston’s Joe Mazzulla.
Mazzulla’s lack of experience has been on display at times this season, and although he made some crucial adjustments to help the Celtics win their series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Spoelstra may still be able to get the better of him throughout the Eastern Conference Finals.
That’s certainly the hope for Heat fans, and with Herro sidelined, Spoelstra and company will need to find ways to make up for what they’re lacking in talent against Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Celtics.
The series is set to begin on Wednesday in Boston, and the Heat will immediately have two chances to steal home-court advantage away from the Celtics. If Miami can get a victory in either Game 1 or Game 2, the pressure will be on the Celtics to respond.