Tyler Herro Scores 37 on Boston, Thoughts on the Eastern Conference Finals, and More

September 23rd, 2020

by Alan Lu

As we have seen more NBA playoff games this week, we are starting to get a feel for which teams are likely to reach the NBA Finals, and it is becoming increasingly more likely that the two teams that will play there may end up being the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat continue to be impressive, and 20-year old, rookie sharpshooting guard, Tyler Herro scored 37 points to help put his team up 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.  

Miami Heat’s 20-year old rookie guard, Tyler Herro scored a whopping 37 points to lead his team to a Game 4 win over the Boston Celtics. Miami currently has a 3-1 series lead over Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals.
(Photo:
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images, via NBC Sports)

Miami Heat’s rookie guard, Tyler Herro, a former Kentucky standout who was the 13th overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft has played extremely well in the playoffs, and he absolutely carved up the Celtics’ defense with his strong ability to knock down jumpers and to attack their defense with his strong dribble game and ability to move off the ball. 

This is Herro’s third time scoring 20 or more points in the playoffs, and he’s multiple three-point shots in 10 of his 13 playoff games this year.  He showed very good quickness to make pull-up jumpers as well as to score on quick drives to the basket, he made a barrage of threes, and Herro was extremely effective in this game, as he scored 37 points on just 21 shots, and he was absolutely unstoppable in Game 3 against Boston. Also on another note, how is it possible that Tyler Herro received zero votes for the 2019-20 NBA Rookie of the Year award??? Not even a third-place vote? Eight rookies received votes, including a player that was on his own team (Kendrick Nunn, who played well in the regular season, but has since struggled in the bubble after having come back from having the coronavirus), but it’s mind-boggling that Herro received zero votes, and he could end up being one of the best players to come out of the 2019 draft class.

Miami is up 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals, but the games have been closer than the series suggests.  In fact, if you total up the points scored by both teams, both teams have scored exactly the same number of points (441) in 4 games.  That said, Miami’s head coach Erik Spoelstra has done a terrific job of putting Miami in a position to consistently make plays down the stretch in their wins.

In game 3, Miami’s zone defense look gave Boston a lot of trouble early, and star forward, Jayson Tatum had trouble generating offense as he struggled to score in the first half.  In addition, they designed the zone so that Boston’s streakier shooters such as Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown would take shots that Miami would give them, and specifically, Marcus Smart really struggled to score consistently in this game.  Smart scored just 10 points on 3 of 12 shooting, and he made just 1 of 8 threes from beyond the arc.

Tatum did a much better job of attacking the zone defense in the second half by looking to score in the middle of the floor than out on the wings later on, and he managed to score 28 points overall.  Boston also seemed to play much better when Gordon Hayward was on the floor, as he gave them a tall, ball-handling shot creator that can generate offense for his team.  However, Boston really struggled to pass the basketball, and they committed a whopping 19 turnovers in this game, as they would frequently have their passes picked off by defenders, which would lead them to give up fast break scoring opportunities the other way to Miami.

Miami Heat’s star center, Bam Adebayo has played very well in the playoffs. He made a game-saving block to get Miami the Game 1 win, and he’s played very well on both sides of the ball in the Eastern Conference Finals.
(Photo:
Kim Klement/USA Today Sports, via Heat Nation)

Miami got steady play from Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, and Goran Dragic in addition to receiving a tremendous game from Tyler Herro.  Goran Dragic was very effective at scoring in the first half, he played well defensively, and he also made clutch shots down the stretch.  Bam Adebayo provided a disruptive interior presence, as he excelled at scoring on rolls, in the post, and did a very good job of protecting the paint to help his team defensively.  Jimmy Butler was aggressive at driving to the rim to score and excelled at making short, pull-up jumpers, and he also played very good defense.

Most importantly, Boston had no answer for Tyler Herro.  Their coverage was not built to switch out on him anytime he came off of a screen, and Bam Adebayo would set good screens at the top of the key that would allow Herro to get clean looks to shoot the basketball.

From where this series is headed, it’s likely that Miami will go to the 2020 NBA Finals, especially if they keep playing as well as they have in the playoffs.  They could close out Boston in 5 or 6, and they are a well-coached team that has a talented and deep roster.  Miami is a very talented team that has depth on both sides of the ball, and they may be a very strong contender to win the 2020 title this year.

 The Los Angeles Lakers won the first two games of the Western Conference Finals, and that looked to be one of the more predictable outcomes in the playoffs.  I’ll admit, I haven’t watched the Western Conference Finals as closely I should, because the Lakers won the first two games in a fairly predictable manner, and they held sizable leads in both of those contests. But then, the Denver Nuggets managed to win Game 3, and they are a scrappy team that continues to impress me during the NBA playoffs.

 

Denver Nuggets’ star guard, Jamal Murray has been tremendous in the 2020 NBA playoffs, and he helped get his team a much needed win in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.
(Photo:
Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images, via Denver Stiffs)

The Denver Nuggets managed to win Game 3 in the Western Conference Finals as they managed to build up a big lead midway through their match and received strong performances from Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, and Jerami Grant, but the Lakers really came on in the 4th quarter to nearly come all the way back, and they made solid defensive plays to cut into Denver’s lead. Denver managed to hold on to get the Game 3 win, as Jamal Murray hit some really big shots down the stretch, the Nuggets’ victory enabled them to pick up a much needed win for them, as Denver is now down 2-1 in their series. 

From what I’ve seen so far, it appears that the NBA Finals is likely headed for a Los Angeles Lakers-Miami Heat showdown, but Miami may be a much stronger contender for the title than previously thought.  The Lakers may still be the favorite to win the championship, but just maybe, Miami might actually be the best team and the team to do it, and most of us just never saw it coming. Miami has a lot of skilled scorers that can shoot the basketball, and their depth and defensive versatility has made it very difficult for Eastern Conference teams to match up to.

Anyways, it’s been fun watching playoff basketball, and there will be more games to watch this week.

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