Tyler Herro went off on Wednesday night. Really went off. If you’re trying to quantify the went-off-ness of an NBA rookie, then scoring 37 points in a playoff game and cementing your name alongside Magic Johnson is one hell of a way to do it. It’s easy to sit back and write this off as an aberration, but the potential of Herro taking over had been looming all year — he’s that good.
The Heat weren’t surprised to see Herro become a superstar against the Celtics, and that’s the biggest compliment to his game. Shock and awe denotes surprise, a belief the player did something unexpected, but under the surface this potential had been bubbling from Herro for much of the season, and the playoffs were simply the place for it to be introduced to the world.
Much of this comes from the Heat flying under the radar for so much of the NBA season. All the attention was put on the Bucks and Raptors in the east (and to a lesser extent the Celtics), allowing Miami to do its own thing. Even if you’d been watching the Heat closely it was easy to lose Herro in the shuffle. However, there were a lot of signs he was destined to be a big thing. After the game coach Eric Spoelstra talked about this at length, especially how people just missed how well Herro was playing.
“Everybody overestimates what you can do in a day and they underestimate what you can do in months of work, sweat and grind when nobody is watching.”
Appearing in 55 games this season, Herro scored more than 10 points on 36 occasions. When he was given over 30 minutes his statistics skyrocketed. Most importantly, especially for a rookie, was Herro’s consistency and reliability. With an effective field goal percentage of 51 percent on the year, and not turning the ball over very often, he’s basically everything you want to see out of a player so young. Back in October our own Ricky O’Donnell wrote about how Herro was looking like a breakout star for the Heat, now almost a year later it’s come true.
The best part is watching everyone wanting to take credit for drafting Tyler Herro, including Bam Adebayo, who claims he was the reason the Heat selected his former teammate.
Regardless of who made the call the draft Herro, the rest of the NBA is having serious FOMO. Immediately after the playoff game the phrase “tyler herro nba draft” began trending on Google, as fans looked to see who they selected instead of the Heat’s rising new star. There’s a belief, at least for now, that Herro is taking over — and everyone is here to watch the ride.