If there was a word to describe the Miami Heat playoff run, disruption would be the most appropriate. The team went from the play-in tournament to upsetting two Eastern Conference favorites to trying to disturb the rhythm of the Denver Nuggets. However, one cannot help but wonder what Tyler Herro’s potential return could do to the team’s composition.
Why is this even a discussion for a player who is merely attempting to suit up, as per Adrian Wojnarowski? Because five games into the NBA Finals and one of the biggest attention-getters for Miami has remained on the bench in a bucket hat. And although the Heat have never officially hinted at him taking the court, any clip of Herro practicing has been enough to spark contemplation.
As Jimmy Butler said before Game 4, the team would love Herro out there when he is ready. Fans would too. But what would his presence really mean?
In the words of Stephen A. Smith, a question like that could be seen as blasphemous when debating the downsides of adding a 20.1-point game, 5.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists per game player to a team on the brink of being eliminated from the last stage of the postseason.
With the Miami Heat down 3-1 to the Denver Nuggets, it is only right to think about what Tyler Herro’s return could bring to the NBA Finals.
Without a doubt, Herro’s addition comes with its own set of potential highlights and hiccups. There is no way around those circumstances after being absent for three rounds.
On the plus side, Herro’s offense could have a substantial impact. His 38 percent three-point shooting could loosen up the defense if falling. His ability to handle the ball off the bounce and dish or finish with the floater also could supply positive pressure if the Nuggets run him off the line.
The result is a multifaceted punch to bust the scoring droughts that have stalked the Heat throughout the series. On the other side, Herro tries on defense, but the Nuggets will certainly seek him and Duncan Robinson out with switches similar to the way they attack Gabe Vincent. Potentially, making the bench lineup a liability. Not to mention, the Herro-Lowry pairing has not been the best in the past.
Fortunately, due to the Heat’s culture of accepting new roles on the run, the alignments could be manipulated to an extent.
Herro could have his minutes staggered amongst the bench unit to minimize the use of detrimental lineups and the altitude hit. The former Sixth Man of the Year could also maneuver within the starting unit if the backcourt of Vincent and Max Strus continue to struggle.
None of this is to say that Herro will be instrumental in flipping the series but having an emergency bucket in a glass never hurts.