Winderman’s view: Heat now have a Tyler time when it comes to a Herro return
MIAMI – Observations and other notes of interest from Thursday night’s 124-116 loss to the Chicago Bulls:
– So let’s move past the result.
– The bigger news for the Heat arguably came pregame.
– Erik Spoelstra has been consistent when it has come to Tyler Herro updates.
– “No new update.”
– But Herro took care of that before Thursday night’s game, when he said he is targeting either Monday night at home against the Timberwolves or Wednesday night in Orlando for his return from the ankle sprain that has had him out since Nov. 8.
– That would also have Herro out for Saturday’s rematch against the Bulls.
– Which would mean 18 missed games with the injury, and therefore ineligibility for an NBA postseason award, which now requires playing in at least 65 of the 82-game regular-season schedule.
– “I’ll have to do that next year.” Herro said of his previously stated goal of making All-NBA this season.
– But what matters most is finally starting to get a read on their team when whole.
– With Bam Adebayo expected back soon, as well.
– The Heat need to know who they are.
– Effectively truly without that opportunity to this stage.
– With Herro, Adebayo, Haywood Highsmith and Josh Richardson out, the Heat again opened with Orlando Robinson, Caleb Martin, Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson and Kyle Lowry.
– Bulls coach Billy Donovan said pregame there was no underestimating the undermanned Heat.
– “They obviously, with their personnel, have had different guys step up at different times, which is a credit to them,” he said.
– The Bulls then stepped up to a 21-5 lead at the outset, leading to a Heat timeout.
– Kevin Love entered for Orlando Robinson as the Heat’s first substitute.
– With Jaime Jaquez Jr. following in short order.
– Asked pregame about Jaquez, Donovan said, “He’s got a really good feel, has been able to come in and fit in. Tough. Competitive. Physical. Makes physical plays both defensively and offensively. I think he’ll only get better with more games, more reps, more opportunity. But he certainly, I think, has made huge contributions to their team.”
– Jamal Cain was third off the bench.
– To his credit, Cain had a huge block against the Bulls’ Patrick Williams in the first period.
– By the time the Bulls got up 33-8 late in the first period, Spoelstra inserted Thomas Bryant and RJ Hampton.
– Spoelstra said pregame there was no preset hierarchy whether Orlando Robinson or Thomas Bryant get the late-game minutes if a center is needed.
– “It depends on the game,” he said. “O’s been playing very good basketball. He continues to get better. He’s earning trust from everyone.”
– Hampton also got a run at point guard in the third quarter.
– Among those in the crowd with Chicago in town were former Bulls players Carlos Boozer and Jaokim Noah.
– Retired Heat forward Udonis Haslem took in the game courtside alongside Heat owner Micky Arison.