One of the most surprising and promising players coming out into the spotlight last season was Miami Heat's rookie Tyler Herro. The Kentucky alumni came into the league as the 13th pick and had some promise around his name. But, still, early on, you could see Herro was a steal as he exceeded everybody's expectations, fitting in perfectly with the Heat and establishing himself in the rotation throughout the season.
But it wasn't until after the season shutdown and the bubble came into play that we saw Herro rise to another level. The young guard played with all the swagger and confidence in the world, being a crucial part of the Heat, surprising everybody with a deep playoff run, and making it into the NBA Finals, where they would fall to the Lakers in six games. It was a massive success for the team and the young Herro, who many proclaimed the league's next star, coming into his second season with big expectations centered around him.
Unfortunately for Herro and the Heat, the 2021 season wasn't kind to them. Miami poorly started off the season, struggled with injuries and COVID protocols. Individually Herro didn't take a step forward but rather regressed a bit, playing less efficiently and utterly different than in the bubble. If you remember Jayson Tatum speaking before the season about players who played above their skills in the bubble due to the ambient, many people speculated he was referring precisely to Herro. Now it seems he was maybe right. A look at the stats tell the whole story:
Tyler Herro Bubble Stats:
Tyler Herro 2021 Playoff Stats:
The numbers show a drastic dip in all of his important stat categories, as Herro has struggled to make an impact for the struggling Heat. The Bucks are getting revenge for last season and are one game away from sweeping last year's Eastern Conference Champions. Many experts believed the Heat could upset the Bucks once again, but they needed Herro to play on last season's level even to have a chance. Sure, Jimmy and Bam have also been struggling, so you can't blame Herro, but it is fascinating to see someone who played so good and confidently less than a year ago struggle to make a shot.
There has been talk and speculations on what caused Herro to take a step back in his second season, as many rumors swirled about Tyler getting caught up in his new status and not focusing enough on his craft. That could be part of the reason, but many players face struggles and slumps in their second season, so this is nothing new. After all, the so-called "Baby GOAT" is only 21 years old and has tons of potential to build an impressive career, so Heat fans have nothing to worry about. Have some patience with the kid, and he could become special. After all, the great Pat Riley has shown a lot of belief in him, so Herro must have something special in him.