If it had not been bad in terms of numbers, even better than its first, with 15.1 points on average at 36% success at 3-pts, Tyler Herro’s 2020/21 season had nevertheless less marked the spirits .
Irregular and less precise, the back of Miami was no longer the X factor so sharp of the 2019/20 season during which the Heat had reached the Finals, in the “bubble”, against the Lakers.
The transition was complicated, less successful than we could hope for after the promises of summer 2020. “I was 20, I was in the locker room and I thought we were going to come back to the Finals”he tells ESPN. “But the locker room was no longer the same. »
“I was worried about whether or not to be transferred”
Neither did Tyler Herro. However, Erik Spoelstra wanted to bet on him, putting him in the major five, in place of Goran Dragic, to start the previous exercise. But the formula does not work and after 14 matches, the Florida coach replaces him on the bench.
“I thought that putting him in the position of substitute point guard was important for him”explains the coach. “He was in trouble. He had more responsibilities and could no longer play on instinct. I told him it was important to be tough, to learn how to organize the attack and put the ball where it’s needed. »
Duncan Robinson remembers the complicated moments his teammate went through at that time.
“We started the season badly and he was losing a lot of balls. It wasn’t necessarily his fault, we just needed to find a collective balance. I also remember meetings where he played between 16 and 20 minutes. So how do you score 20 points? The situation was a bit unfair for him. »
Less good on the floor, physically affected in the shoulder, neck, hip or even in the foot, Tyler Herro also found himself in the transfer rumors. Already struggling to show his best face, this fear of leaving will weigh him down definitively.
“I thrive when I have confidence”, sums up the Florida rear. “I was not myself. Mentally, I was not in the best conditions to evolve at my best level. The Covid prevented me from applying my routine and my work ethic, from going to the gym before matches or on the morning of matches. During the season, I was worried about being transferred or not. It was only mental. »
“Being on a team that is aiming for the title and putting 20-21 points per game”
The circumstances were not easy either. Despite his talent and nerve, it should not be forgotten that Tyler Herro remained a rookie in 2019/20 and that this season, cut by the Covid-19, was like no other.
He then only had six weeks to continue his second season, which is short for any player, but even more so for a 20-year-old kid. As for rumors and injuries, they are part of the life of a season and a career but remain difficult to grasp at this stage of a career.
“I wanted him to understand that the year before was not normal for a rookie,” says Erik Spoelstra. “Everything went well, without any problems. It was a honeymoon. His second season was already more classic for a young player, who has to face difficult times. We play well, then less well, we are injured. You have to accept it. This is the NBA and this is what it’s like to be a youngster. The first year was the exception, not last season. »
For his third season in the league, Tyler Herro resumed his march forward and played his best basketball. Averaging 20.7 points at 40% behind the arc, he became the favorite for the Sixth Man of the Year trophy when Miami dominated the Eastern Conference.
“Growing up, that’s all I dreamed of: being on a team that’s going for the title and putting in 20-21 points per game,” he concludes. ” It’s perfect for me. I assert myself and the team needs that. »