4 Miami Heat players who need a monster second half to save their job

Here are four players who need to step up to help propel the Miami Heat up the East standings and potentially save their jobs.

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat
Washington Wizards v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Tyler Herro

Tyler Herro, Damian Lillard
Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

A look at Herro's 2023-24 NBA season stats:

  • 21 points
  • 5.3 rebounds
  • 4.4 assists
  • 43.7 FG%

While point guard Tyler Herro's scoring has increased compared to his Sixth Man of the Year campaign during the 2021-22 NBA season, his assist rate has only slightly improved. However, his true shooting percentage is less than 10 percentage points higher than the past two seasons, and his rim and free-throw rates are consistent with his career averages, indicating no significant changes in shot quality. 

However, what truly stands out this season is not just the numbers but how Herro has handled the offseason distractions. He has shown a greater awareness of his strengths and weaknesses than ever before. Instead of solely seeking solutions to problems, he focuses on adapting to different types of pressure and utilizing his existing skills based on real-time game situations. This mindset shift demonstrates Herro's growth and maturity as a player.

Notably, Herro has been successful in shooting floaters at a 55% accuracy rate and catch-and-shoot threes at 58%. After a rough start against Detroit where he shot 7-of-24, Herro went on to average 27 points in his next five games with a shooting percentage of 49% and a three-point percentage of 47.7%. That stretch stood as the most efficient five-game performance of his career. This achievement is particularly encouraging as Herro has increased his usage to 28.4% from 25.6% last season. 

Herro has showcased his elite catch-and-shoot ability, making 40.8% of his 797 3-point attempts in his first four seasons. However, his pull-up triples have been less consistent, with a 35.7% success rate over 760 attempts. Despite this, his shooting prowess is undeniable, he should therefore increase his catch-and-shoot opportunities. 

Last season, Herro proved his ability to knock down shots at a high rate, shooting 45.8% on 142 wide-open threes. 42.2% of his shots were 3-pointers, but this season he has improved to shooting 42.9% of his shots from the 3-point line. Despite his excellent shooting ability, only 9.4% of Herro’s field goals came from inside the paint last year, which is the lowest of his career.  Although the 6'5 wing excels as a pull-up shooter in the mid-range, there is room for improvement in his shooting efficiency, shot selection, and his ability to attack the rim. Additionally, playing off the ball more could enhance Herro’s performance by allowing him to utilize his shooting skills effectively. 

Increasing volume while maintaining efficiency is a simple formula for gaining recognition in All-Star conversations without compromising game-to-game impact. There has been a noticeable versatility in his game, especially in navigating the paint with a live dribble. He has become adept at keeping one defender behind him while taking advantage of the space given by another defender in front. This was not the case two years ago. 

While Herro is an impactful offensive player, to enhance his value as a shooter, he should focus on continuing to improve his defensive skills. In addition, Herro should work on gaining strength, slowing down, and avoiding rushing, as this can help reduce his turnover rate, increase his trips to the foul line, and make him a more selfless playmaker at times. 

Regarding his role, Herro acknowledges that the coaches are pushing him to step out of his comfort zone to communicate more with his teammates and become more of a leader on the floor.