AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
With the Miami Heat’s season on the line Monday night, the team is getting back a much-needed source of offense.
The Heat announced that Tyler Herro would be available for Game 5:
Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
Erik Spoelstra on Tyler Herro: “It’s all hands on deck. We’re going with our normal rotation, and then we’ll see how things play out.”
Earlier in the day, his status for the game had been upgraded to questionable:
Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Heat’s Tyler Herro could make his return tonight vs. Nuggets in Game 5. He has been upgraded to questionable.
Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
The hope is that Herro doesn’t suffer a setback ahead of Game 5 and can still manage the discomfort in his right hand, sources said. Herro has been out since fracturing the hand in Game 1 vs. Milwaukee in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. https://t.co/EH6T4ukkbB
Herro, 23, has played all of 19 minutes in these playoffs, having broken his right hand on April 16. That cost the Heat a player who averaged 20.3 points and 4.3 assists per game during the regular season while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from three.
Despite the absence of the 2021-22 Sixth Man of the Year, the Heat rode hot perimeter shooting, a tough defensive identity and the heroics of Jimmy Butler to the NBA Finals.
The Heat find themselves down 3-1 against the Denver Nuggets, however, having shot just 8-of-25 (32 percent) from beyond the arc in Game 4 and 11-of-35 from three (31.4 percent) in Game 3, both losses.
While it’s fair to question if a potentially rusty Herro, who has sat for the past two months, will be enough of a boost to keep the Heat alive for another game, his presence won’t hurt.
Certainly, it will give the Heat more options in the backcourt.
Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
Though Spo often says it’s not about whether shots are falling, reality is that with Herro positioned to play – and Robinson shooting 44.5 percent on threes in postseason – there could be quick hook for guards who are off with their shot tonight, with Strus needing strong start.
Dan Devine @YourManDevine
It’s been 58 days since Tyler Herro played in an NBA game; bringing him back in an elimination game with a title on the line is an awfully big ask. But the Heat could certainly use some more shot creation against an increasingly smothering Denver defense: https://t.co/GQ9I9sxs6h pic.twitter.com/EV5kR4H2dH
Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
As a matter of what feels like needed perspective: Tyler Herro in last season’s playoffs returned from an absence with a groin strain to play in Heat’s Game 7 vs. Celtics. He played seven minutes in that loss and missed his only two shots. And that was after a three-game absence.
It’s probably unlikely—and unfair to expect—that Herro will pull off a Willis Reed-esque moment. But the Heat need to win three straight games, so it’s an all-hands-on-deck situation for the team, and Herro is one of its most important offensive contributors.
If he can give the Heat any contribution in Game 5, and potentially beyond, it will be an enormous boost.