DENVER – Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro reached the six-week mark in his recovery Friday from what the team called “open reduction surgery and internal fixation of the third and fourth metacarpals in his right hand,” but the club ruled out Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro. 23-year-old for Game 2 of the NBA Finals (8 Eastern Time, ABC).
The Heat officially listed Herro as “out” in their latest injury report before kickoff.
“He’s making progress,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We are really encouraged by the progress. He started networking as soon as we got to Denver. We have to keep perspective. We want to be responsible with this. We are all excited and encouraged by his progress. When we return to Miami, all we will do is stick to the process, trying to accumulate positive days; Also, understanding this isn’t like trying to get back into a game in December. This is the Final. So, there’s a bit of context to this.”
When Herro underwent surgery to repair his broken right hand, the team revealed that the guard would miss a minimum of six weeks. He was cleared to resume basketball activities on May 23, but it was not clear when he would be able to return to the court.
Before the team’s 104-93 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 1, Spoelstra said the guard “isn’t there yet.”
Still limping, Herro certainly went to work on the pitch behind the scenes to get there.
After most of the Heat left the Ball Arena at the end of practice on Wednesday, it was reported that the guard took part in an extra session to test his injured hand with the intention of reuniting with his teammates in live action. as soon as possible. The guard also participated in the team’s Saturday workout, as well as going through similar sessions in Boston during the team’s Eastern Conference Finals series against the Celtics.
The guard’s expected return could add some oomph to a Miami offense that has embarked on a slow decline over the last five games.
Herro has been sidelined since April 16 after suffering a hand injury during Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks. However, Miami’s offense hummed without him for the first 14 games of the postseason.
The Heat averaged 114.9 points in that span, hitting 48% from the field with Jimmy Butler producing 29.9 points per game on 51.1% from the floor. Miami went 11-3 during that time period with Herro playing just 19 minutes in Game 1 of the first round.
The Heat seem to have hit a wall since then, offensively anyway, averaging 99.0 points on 43.6% shooting, while Butler’s scoring dropped to 21.6 points per game on 39.4% shooting in the team’s last five outings.
Miami’s 93 points in Game 1 represented a season-low, as Max Strus, Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin combined to contribute six points on 2-of-23 shooting. That trio averaged 40.1 points on 53.9% from the field and 43.9% from 3-point range in the Eastern Conference Finals.
So while Miami isn’t counting on Herro providing a cure for their offensive woes, his return could certainly help because the guard poses a threat for drilling 3-pointers and jumpers from inside the arc, not to mention his skill set. in the two-man game with Bam Adebayo against a Denver defense committed to slowing down Butler.
“We’ve talked about knowing that he’s going to come back at some point in this series,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said of Herro. “We know what kind of talent he is, his ability to play off the rebound, create for himself, create for his teammates and obviously shoot the 3-ball. So if and when he’s available, our guys will be ready. from a personnel and game plan point of view.”
A fourth-year veteran, Herro averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists during the regular season as Miami’s third scoring choice behind Butler and Adebayo. Since Herro’s injury, the Heat have fielded four different starting combinations in 18 games, including a lineup that caused Butler to miss Game 2 of the conference semifinals with a sprained right ankle.
Since returning from that ankle injury, Butler has averaged 23.7 points over the last 12 games, shooting 41.9% from the floor and 30.3% from range after averaging 35.5 points in his first six appearances this postseason.
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Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for NBA.com. You can send him an email herefind your file here and follow it on Twitter.
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