Pierce also thinks that it might’ve been a positive thing for Miami that Herro got hurt in the first round of the playoffs.
"Caleb Martin is better than Herro….you throw him off by bringing Herro back" – Paul Pierce@paulpierce34 says bringing Tyler Herro back throws off Miami's rhythm, especially Caleb Martin. Y'all think Miami needs Herro to beat the Nuggets? https://t.co/2DvSiCZLiU pic.twitter.com/Z17R0RLCjt
— Kevin Garnett (@KevinGarnett5KG) June 2, 2023
“If I’m Miami, how do you even play him?” Pierce said of Herro. “They got a rhythm going.”
Herro, who has not played since Game 1 against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, reportedly could return as early as Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday against the Denver Nuggets. That would be a huge boost for the Heat offensively.
“Herro being hurt might’ve been a blessing in disguise for them because we see what Caleb Martin turned into because Caleb Martin is better than Herro,” Pierce said.
Martin was terrific in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics, averaging 19.3 points per game while shooting 60.2 percent from the field and 48.9 percent from beyond the arc.
However, it may be a stretch to say that he’s a better player than Herro, who had a solid first half in Game 1 against Milwaukee before he was injured. He scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. He also made two shots from beyond the arc in that game.
During the 2022-23 regular season, Herro averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The league’s Sixth Man of the Year in the 2021-22 season, Herro has been an elite scorer for the Heat over the last few seasons. Martin has never had any standout regular seasons, but he did have a great playoff series against Boston.
The reality is Miami can use all the help it can get against the Nuggets in the NBA Finals. Martin, Max Strus and Duncan Robinson combined to shoot just 2-of-23 from the field in the team’s Game 1 loss.
Herro could have helped stabilize Miami’s offense in that game.
With Herro potentially returning to the lineup in this series, it will be interesting to see how Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra distributes minutes. It’s possible that Herro sees a role change from the regular season as he tries to work himself back into game shape.