Shooting Guards. Pick 13. Kentucky Wildcats. Supreme confidence. Zero fear. There are many parallels between NBA superstar Devin Booker and potential All-Star Tyler Herro.
Herro has said he studies Book's game and adds different things from his arsenal on several occasions. "There's nothing he does that I can't do" is something Herro has said about the two Wildcat scorers. For Heat fan's sake, hopefully, the hard work Herro puts in pays off, and this statement can come to fruition.
Ahead of Friday night's game between the Heat and Suns, we take a look at the similarities between their two stars, Tyler Herro and Devin Booker.
Both Herro and Booker faced similar criticisms at the start of their careers, with many questioning their defensive abilities. However, Booker has managed to dispel this notion, proving he can hold his own on the defensive end. While he may not be considered an elite defender, he is known to put up a fight and is a positive team defender.
Similarly, Herro is working tirelessly to change the perception others have about him, showing his resilience and growth. He competes defensively -- no one can take that away from him.
There's only so much he can do defensively with his physical limitations. He has a negative 6-foot-3 wingspan. Those are alligator arms. His slim frame doesn't help him cut offensive weapons off.
But the effort is a non-negotiable. He's improving off the ball, jumping passing lanes for a career-high in steal rate, and working on not ball-watching, but he still has a ways to go.
The counting numbers between are eerily similar. Their rookie numbers were almost identical. Book averaged 13.8 points on 42-34-84, while Herro averaged 13.5 points on 42-38-87 splits. This is a known fact and gave Heat fans a lot to hope for, as Book is one of the best players in basketball.
Their most similar approach is how they get to their spots with the ball. Herro lays that out in the interview above. Neither player is known for brute strength, as skill is at the forefront of their games.
Both excel in the midrange. Getting off good shots from there is tough, but they make it look easy with silky smooth jumpers, poise, and craft as they get to their spots. Herro is shooting 47% from the midrange on 120 attempts compared to Book's 43% on 256 attempts.
Herro taking the next step
We're in year five for Herro, and he has been more than impressive. He's having a career year that may land him in Indianapolis during Valentine's Weekend. Here's where his year five numbers stack up compared to Book.
Obviously, this shows Book had a better year five. We're not here to debate that. Again, we'd all rejoice if Herro ended up being better than Booker, and if not, that's okay, too.
Booker wasn't always efficient, a strong pick-and-roll player, an elite isolation player, or a consistent foul drawer. To be clear, Book still needs to get to the line more compared to other superstars.
These are areas Herro could improve on, too. He has one of the best pick-and-roll partners in the league in Bam Adebayo and his handle has gotten tighter over the years, aiding his isolation game.
If Herro got to the line more, his True Shooting % would be stronger, as he's in the 99th percentile of free-throw shooters.
Seeing Book's success inspires Herro and is the blueprint for where Herro ultimately wants to be -- a franchise bucket-getter that makes the game easier for those around him.
Tyler Herro and Devin Booker square off tonight in Footprint Arena for the seventh time in their careers. Hopefully, Herro gets the best of Book as he did here during his rookie season.