Winderman’s view: Tyler Herro sizzles, but too much early fizzle for Heat vs. Bucks
Observations and other notes of interest from Monday night’s 122-114 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks:
– This increasingly is looking like a season of Herro ball.
– Or at least least a regular season of that.
– Or at least the start of a regular season of that.
– On the nights when Tyler Herro is efficient, the boost is tangible for the Heat.
– As was the case on Monday night.
– At other times, when the shots are forced, it becomes an entire team out of sync.
– Apparent already is that Jimmy Butler is easing his way into the season.
– And it’s not as if this has the look of a high-octane offense.
– So some Herro sizzle well could be what prevents fizzle.
– Not that there doesn’t have to be more alongside.
– Because there does.
– As Monday mostly showed.
– Whether it’s Butler turning it on.
– Adebayo playing with more force upon his return.
– Or someone constantly stepping up from beyond the arc.
– When the shots are off, or rushed, it becomes easy to blame Herro.
– But who else on this roster has such streak-scoring capabilities?
– Or is as creative?
– It’s time to stop viewing Herro as a necessary evil.
– And start viewing him more as necessary.
– Typically, Erik Spoelstra avoids inserting a prime reserve into the lineup when a starter is out, but there has been nothing typical about the start of this season.
– So Thomas Bryant it was in the starting lineup.
– With Adebayo out, the options were limited beyond Bryant or second-year Orlando Robinson.
– With Butler and Kevin Love back after sitting out Saturday in Minnesota, they also started, along with Herro and Kyle Lowry.
– The Adebayo absence due to a hip contusion further exacerbated the Heat’s lack of frontcourt defense, with Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith also out.
– Among the Heat’s ongoing injury issues is that ongoing knee pain for Martin.
– “We just want to see him moving the way we’re accustomed to see him moving,” Spoelstra said. “So to me it’s not a tough decision. I know it’s grueling for him. He wants to be out there and know he can compete and have an impact. Again, it’s not something serious right now. But it is nagging.”
– The Bucks, by contrast, had Khris Middleton back after he sat out Sunday in the loss to the Hawks at the start of Milwaukee’s back-to-back set.
– The Bucks other starters were Damian Lillard, Malik Beasley, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez.
– Former Heat forward Jay Crowder had started Sunday for the Bucks when Middleton was out.
– This time he played as the Bucks’ first reserve.
– Beyond Adebayo, Martin and Highsmith, the Heat also had Cole Swider inactive to save the number of days that teams can use players on two-way.
– Inactive for the Bucks were MarJon Beauchamp, Marques Bolden, TyTy Washington Jr. and Lindell Wigginton.
– Lacking on the interior, the Heat went to zone early.
– Josh Richardson, in his first appearance of the season, played as the Heat’s sixth man, taking the defensive assignment against Lillard.
– Orlando Robinson and Jaime Jaquez Jr. then followed, as the Heat’s second and third reserves.
– Spoelstra said pregame Orlando Robinson had shown the ability to step into such situations.
– “He already proved that last year,” Spoelstra said. “When he was in the rotation in our second unit, he was able to stabilize that unit. Because of his relentless work ethic, he continues to get better with the details.”
– Spoelstra added, “Experience always helps with the more years you have in this league. He had a tremendous summer and even though Thomas has been filling a lot of those minutes, Orlando still has been making a lot of progress.”
– Duncan Robinson then played as the Heat’s fourth reserve.
– That at the end of the first period left the Heat with a lineup of Butler, Richardson, Jaquez and two Robinsons.
– With the Bucks adding Lillard to Antetokounmpo and Middleton, Spoelstra pregame was asked the perfunctory question about a comparison to the Heat Big Three he coached of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
– “Each team is different,” Spoelsrta said, “so it’s not apples to apples always. Each team will go through their own process. I have no idea what their process is, nor is it any of my business.”
– The game was part of the Heat’s road-intensive start to the season. The Heat’s 12 road games though Nov. 25 to start the season are the most in the NBA. Not other team has more than 10 road games over that stretch.