Tyler Herro finds himself multitasking as Heat attempt to work out of early-season hole – The Denver Post


As a full-time starter for the first time in his four-year career, this was supposed to be the season Tyler Herro found his place in the Miami Heat lineup.

Instead, Herro has found himself multitasking to arguably a greater degree than any other stage of his NBA tenure.

Need offense? There were 34 points in Tuesday night’s loss to the Detroit Pistons.

Need assists? There were 10 apiece in consecutive games a week ago against the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks.

Need rebounds? The No. 13 pick in the 2019 NBA draft stepped up with 13 Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“Just making adjustments to who’s on the floor,” Herro said, with the Heat turning their attention to Thursday night’s visit by the Los Angeles Clippers.

When Jimmy Butler was sidelined, it was about adding scoring and playmaking.

When the Heat power rotation was decimated, there was the need for rebounding.

And, all the while, during this season with the Heat rarely whole, it has meant Herro working against the type of defensive attention afforded to leading men.

“The complexity to this is what is required for that particular game?” coach Erik Spoelstra said of Herro stepping up to the variety of challenges. “And then, as the game moves along, what adjustments do you have to make?:

Now, Spoelstra said, Herro is reading and reacting.

“You can’t just go into games predetermined,” Spoelstra said. “But the respect factor is there. One way or another, they’re trying to scheme against Tyler, through their trapping, switching or bringing a third defender.

“And it’s up to him to understand the responsibility of making the best play for us, based on whatever the coverage is.”

All, Spoelstra said, while maintaining the aggressive bent that led to last season’s NBA Sixth Man of the Year award.

“He has to be assertive,” Spoelstra said. “He has to be who he is. And certainly the playmaking piece is adding a great dimension to our games.”

The versatility has been appreciated by teammates, particularly when Jimmy Butler returned for last week’s overtime road victory over the Boston Celtics following a seven-game absence.

“Obviously Jimmy being back, he’s going to create a lot of offense,” Herro said of Butler’s return from an extended absence with knee pain, before stepping back for a game off. “But he told me before the [Boston] game, just keep playing how I’ve been playing, and he said, ‘I’ll fit in,’ and he did.”

For Herro, it remains a work in progress, having missed extended time last month with a sprained left ankle.

“I missed eight games; it’s going to take time,” he said of working back to his peak self. “I can score with the best of ‘em. But I’m not focused on my scoring or my stats on offense. I want to win and that’s what we want to do here.

“So we have a lot of work to do and we’re going to continue to stick at it and we’re not running from anybody.”

With Herro appreciating that trouble in many ways is attempting to find him, as he becomes even more of a defensive focus.

“At one point,” he said of Tuesday’s loss to the Pistons, “I think one possession they ran two guys at me over halfcourt. So it’s just different adjustments. Like I said, every game is different.”

All the while, remaining upbeat, even amid team adversity.

“I think our spirits have been high,” he said. “We’re not worried about proving anyone right or wrong. This is about us, our group. Just got to continue to get better.

“We’re not really worried about how we started, who’s hurt and who’s not. We’re starting to get everyone healthy now, get everyone back in the lineup, and just continue to worry about ourselves and get better.”



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