It's easy to forget that Tyler Herro is a 20-year-old rookie.
Following a solid regular season that earned him a spot on the All-Rookie Second Team, Herro has taken his game to another level in the playoffs. Through 15 games, Herro is averaging 16.5 points, making him the Miami Heat's fourth-leading scorer. He's also averaging 5.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game, ranking him third and fourth, respectively, on the team.
His latest performance? A 37-point outing that helped Herro make history in a number of ways.
That got our NBA.com Staff thinking about what type of player Herro could be at his peak.
This is more about the roles they play than comparing their games or skill set.
Manu Ginóbili could've started on the Spurs at any given time, but he humbled himself and came off the bench for the betterment of the team.
Herro could play a similar role in Miami for years to come.
Right now, Herro is playing some of the best basketball in the bubble and he's doing it coming off the bench. He gives Miami a quick change of pace midway through the first period that not many other teams have and also gives you a closer in the final two minutes of the game that doesn't need to start the game. That's exactly what Ginóbili did throughout his Hall of Fame-worthy career.
Herro is in a perfect scenario at the moment. When he checks into the game, he can either ride a hot start from the team or get them back on track with a couple of big-time buckets or plays. And he has the coach's trust to finish as one of the primary ball handlers.
If that isn't Manu Ginóbili, I don't know what is.
- Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay)
This might be an extreme comparison based off of some big playoff games in the bubble, but I think Herro has the chance to be the three-level scorer and playmaker that Brandon Roy was.
In Herro's first playoffs, he's averaging 16.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game on 44.8% shooting from the field and 37.8% from 3. In Roy's rookie season where he was named Rookie of the Year, he averaged 16.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists on 45.6% shooting from the field and 37.7% from 3.
The two stat lines are comparable, except Herro's doing it while playing a key role in helping the Heat reach the Eastern Conference Finals and potentially the NBA Finals.
Roy's ceiling was limitless prior to his knee injuries. He was explosive off the dribble, worked well in pick-and-rolls and was relentless in attacking the basket with some sneaky athleticism to him. He could shoot off the dribble, create his own shot, pull-up from 3 or midrange, or work as a spot-up shooter.
Sound familiar? Herro is flashing a lot of those same skills as a versatile offensive threat. While he might not get to the rim the way that Roy did, I think he actually has the potential to be a better passer and rebounder than Roy was.
Even with Roy's injuries, he still tallied three All-Star nominations and two All-NBA nods. If Herro continues to improve the way I'd expect him to in this perfect role in Miami, it wouldn't shock me if he becomes an All-Star and All-NBA calibre player.
Again, I know it's a lot off of a handful of strong playoff series, but it's well-deserved with the way this 20 year old is playing like a five-year veteran already.
- Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_)
Devin Booker ... in a winning environment
No disrespect to Devin Booker, but it took him five seasons to play in games that actually mattered. Granted, he was incredible in those games - his 30.5 points, 6.0 assists and 4.9 rebounds in Phoenix's seeding games gave the Suns a chance of sneaking into the playoffs - but that's not quite the same stage as the Conference Finals.
Either way, there are a lot of similarities to how Booker and Herro play on the court. They are both fearless competitors who live for the big moments. The both shoot 3s with unlimited range, can finish at the rim with nifty layups and can create efficient shots for themselves at all three levels off the dribble. They can even create efficient shots for others off the dribble, to the point where they can operate as secondary playmakers.
In fact, Herro might be better than Booker was in his rookie season in that area, specifically with how he can read defenses and find open teammates.
Put it all together, and I only see Booker when I watch Herro right now, a crazy thought considering how big the stakes are for him and the Heat now that they're only one win removed from the NBA Finals.
- Leandro Fernandez (@FernandezLea)
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