Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro spoke out against critics that believe he can’t play in the playoffs in a recent interview.
Herro was injured in Game 1 of Miami’s first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks last postseason, but the team still went on to make the NBA Finals as the No. 8 seed in the East.
“I would say really to the people that don’t think I can play in the playoffs,” Herro said. “I was 18-19 in the bubble and was the third best player on our team in the bubble as a rookie in the playoffs. I had 12 points [in the first half in Milwaukee] before I got hurt. I know I can play in the playoffs, but at the end of the day it’s just about having that opportunity. Last year I felt like I had that, then obviously I hurt my hand. That was really heartbreaking for me because I was going to have a big playoffs and then that happened.
“I just want that opportunity. In the playoffs, bright lights on the big stage. That’s what I’m about.”
As a rookie in the 2019-20 season, Herro thrived in the NBA’s Orlando, Fla. bubble, averaging 16.0 points per game across 21 playoff games. The Heat ended up making the NBA Finals that season, although they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.
During that playoff run, Herro was an efficient scorer for Miami. He shot 43.3 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.
However, during the next two seasons, Herro’s numbers dipped in the postseason.
In the 2020-21 season, Miami was swept in the first round by the Bucks. Herro averaged just 9.3 points per game in the series while shooting 31.6 percent from both the field and beyond the arc.
In the 2021-22 season, Herro won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award during the regular season. He averaged 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game during the 2021-22 regular season while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 39.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Those numbers ended up taking a hit in the playoffs. Miami made the Eastern Conference Finals that season, but Herro missed three games in the series against Boston that ended Miami’s season.
Overall in the playoffs in the 2021-22 campaign, Herro averaged 12.6 points per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 22.9 percent from 3-point range.
The Heat guard was looking to prove himself in the playoffs last season before a broken hand abruptly ended his season.
Since Miami made the NBA Finals without Herro, it has reflected poorly on the young guard, even though the injury was out of his control.
Herro will have a chance to prove the doubters wrong in the 2023-24 season. Miami ended up holding onto him this offseason despite rumors that the team may trade for guard Damian Lillard.
Lillard ended up with the Bucks, and Herro gets to continue his time in Miami.
Hopefully for Heat fans, Herro will be able to showcase his talent in the playoffs this season and lead the Heat back to the NBA Finals.