Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra wants fourth-year guard Tyler Herro to think that it’s always crunch time.
After the Heat’s win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, the veteran coach joked about how he’s going to convince Herro that it’s always the fourth quarter to take advantage of his “clutch gene.”
“I’m just going to write fourth quarter on every notepad to Tyler in every other quarter, because he has that clutch gene, he really does,” Spoelstra said. “It doesn’t matter what’s happening during the course of the game. He’s a killer down the stretch. He loves those moments. He lives for those moments. He’ll knock some really tough shots down in those moments.”
While Spoelstra is clearly just messing around, there’s a lot of truth in what he’s saying about Herro’s fourth-quarter success. The youngster is shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from beyond the arc in fourth quarters this season, clips that are notably higher than his overall marks of 43.4 percent and 37.4 percent.
On Sunday, Herro was especially impressive in the fourth quarter. He dropped 12 points in the frame and went 4-for-5 from the field, saving his day after a few rocky quarters to get things started. He finished with 19 points.
Herro’s big fourth quarter helped the Heat pull away from the Pistons to earn a 112-100 victory. Miami is 6-4 over its last 10 games, and the team is getting closer to stealing an outright playoff bid in the Eastern Conference.
Just one game separates the sixth-place Brooklyn Nets and seventh-place Heat as things currently stand. The Nets have lost three games in a row.
In his first season as a full-time starter, Herro has averaged 20.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Many fans are interested to see how he performs in the postseason, especially since he struggled in the 2021 and 2022 playoffs. Those playoff struggles came as a bit of a surprise after he put on a show in the 2020 postseason.
But if he treats every quarter like it’s the fourth in the 2023 postseason, then the Heat could be in business.
The team is looking to exceed expectations and make a surprise run in the East despite the fact that many are expecting a first-round playoff exit or something similar.