Tyler Herro is available to make his return to the Miami Heat in Monday night’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals, coach Erik Spoelstra said before tip-off.
While Herro is available, it’s unclear if he will play. The Heat will start with their usual rotation, with Gabe Vincent and Max Strus starting in the backcourt.
“We’ll see how the game plays out,” Spoelstra said. “It’s all hands on deck.”
Herro has been out since April 16, when he broke his right hand in the Heat’s opening playoff game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Herro is still experiencing some discomfort in the surgically repaired right hand but hopes to give a boost to his Heat team trailing 3-1 to the Denver Nuggets.
Despite reports that Herro could make his return as early as Game 2, his NBA Finals debut was delayed. Spoelstra repeated after Miami’s Game 4 loss on Friday that the organization was encouraged by Herro’s progress. He was upgraded to questionable Monday morning.
“He has done everything he needed to do,” Spoelstra said. “We appreciate all the work that he has put in. It’s been a long, whatever, six, seven weeks of this. He is putting himself out there, available.”
Herro was Miami’s second-leading scorer in the regular season, averaging 20.1 points and shot 38% from 3-point range. The Heat could use that production with Vincent and Strus shooting 29% on 3s in the Finals.
“Doesn’t change anything,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said of how Herro’s potential return impacts the series. “If they throw him out there, they throw him out there. But our approach is the same, our game plan is the same, and our energy, discipline and communication have to be the same.”