One Miami Heat insider recently spoke on how the team’s rotation could change once guard Tyler Herro and others make their returns to the lineup.
“First, let’s not assume who will necessarily go to the bench when Tyler Herro returns,” Ira Winderman wrote. “The spacing Duncan Robinson provides cannot necessarily be replicated. Plus, I’m not necessarily sure there will be a season-long commitment to Haywood Highsmith as starting power forward. In fact, if Jimmy Butler is willing, there could be a case for Jimmy moving to power forward to accommodate Tyler and Duncan in the starting lineup. But, yes, there are at least 10 puzzle pieces that Erik Spoelstra could put into play. It also could be a case where Haywood goes from starter to a diminished role. So, we wait.”
It has been over a month since Herro took the floor for the Heat. He hasn’t played since Nov. 8 due to an ankle injury.
What makes Herro’s prolonged absence especially unfortunate is that he was off to a hot start to the season. In eight games with the Heat, he is averaging 22.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the floor and 41.0 percent from behind the 3-point line.
As Winderman alluded to, Robinson has received plenty of starts in Herro’s absence and made the most of his additional playing time. In 20 appearances with the Heat so far this season, Robinson is averaging 14.3 points per game while shooting 41.7 percent from 3-point range on 7.0 attempts per game.
While the Heat own a 12-10 record on the season so far, they haven’t played their best basketball of late. Miami owns a subpar 4-6 record over its last 10 games and is fresh off a 12-point loss to Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 8.
Kyle Lowry and Josh Richardson each scored 17 points for Miami in the loss, while Mitchell dropped a game-high 27 points for the Cavaliers while shooting 9-of-17 from the field. Plus, Mitchell racked up 13 rebounds, six assists and one steal in 36 minutes of playing time.
Fortunately for the Heat, the upcoming portion of their regular-season schedule doesn’t project to be very difficult. The Heat will play the Charlotte Hornets twice and Chicago Bulls twice for their next four games. The Hornets own a 7-13 record, while the Bulls own a 9-14 record.
Heat fans might be disappointed if Miami isn’t able to win at least three out of its next four games. After all, the Hornets and Bulls are two of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference so far this season and seem destined to miss out on the postseason.