Will Tyler Herro return in Game 3? Do the Miami Heat need Herro?
Tyler Herro broke his hand in the Miami Heat’s playoff opener against the Milwaukee Bucks. After a month and a half, he could make his comeback in Game 3.
One of the most impressive things about the eighth seeded Miami Heat’s run to the NBA Finals has been their ability to overcome injuries to two of their most important players throughout the entire postseason. Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo have had to sit and watch from the sideline during this improbable charge to the NBA Finals, but Herro could be coming back for a late title push.
Heat brush off injuries
Tyler Herro was injured in the Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs, when he broke his hand chasing after a loose ball against the Milwaukee Bucks. He was originally ruled out for 4-6 weeks after undergoing an operation on his broken hand.
Victor Oladipo suffered a devastating injury in the third game of the opening round series against the Milwaukee Bucks and was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs after tests showed a torn patella tendon. The former Indiana Hooiser has overcome a long list of serious injuries, and will now have to cheer his team on from the sidelines.
The two early postseason injuries meant the Heat would have 30 points a night on the bench for the majority of the playoffs. Herro averaged 20.1 ppg, which was third most for the Heat this season, and Oladipo chipped in another 10.7 ppg, which was more than playoff standouts Gabe Vincent and Caleb Martin.
Herro nearing comeback
After surprising the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on Sunday night, the Heat are set for another bit of fantastic news. Tyler Herro has been out for more than seven weeks, but after a lengthy spell on the sidelines Herro has been targeting a Game 3 comeback in the NBA Finals since Game 7 of the Eastern Confernce Finals.
There is still no word on whether or not the Heat sharp shooter in a certainty to dress on Wednesday night, but we have seen him warming up pregame over the first two Finals matchups which gives us an idea of how close he is to making a comeback.
The question is, will his comeback help or hurt the Heat against the Nuggets? Let’s not get it twisted. Herro is a fantastic player, and has been since splashing on the scene in the 2020 Bubble during his rookie year. He had a breakout postseason in the Heat’s Finals run, and has improved in each and every year since.
Martin, Vincent cashing in
We can’t ignore the fact that the Miami Heat came into this postseason as an eight seed in the Eastern Conference. They finished the season as the seven seed, but lost the opening Play-In game against the Atlanta Hawks and had to fight for the eight seed against Chicago in the last gasp game for the final playoff spot, all of this with a healthy Tyler Herro.
When the Heat were at full strength, they we a slightly above average team that finished the season just six games over .500. Since Herro went down in Game 1, the Miami Heat have been on a historic run, and now they are just three games away from becoming the first eight seed to win the NBA title.
Over the course of the first three Heat playoff series, Caleb Martin and Gabe Vincent have been playing the best basketball of their careers. The injuries to Oladipo and Herro opened up a chance for the duo to play more minutes and the two have thrived in their upgraded roles.
Vincent is averaging 13.9 ppg in the playoffs, almost five points more than he averaged in the regular season and was the top scorer in the Heat’s Game 2 win in Denver with 23 points. Martin is posting 13.6 ppg, three and a half points more than he did during the regular season, and many people, including Charles Barkley, thought he should have been the Eastern Conference MVP instead of Jimmy Butler.
Eric Spoelstra has showed, yet again, that he is a genius when it comes to playoff basketball. His ability to incorporate guys that were deeper down the bench and turn them into important parts of this playoff run has been nothing short of amazing. Now with Tyler Herro coming back he is going to have to wave his magic wand again to get the most out of Herro, Martin and Vincent as the Heat look for their fourth NBA title in franchise history.