3️⃣ Tyler Herro's improved defense
Oh hey look, it's Tyler Herro again -- do you think the Heat are gonna miss him? I was thoroughly impressed with Herro's defense this past week, on different occasions. He will never be an elite defender and will still be a target for teams. But he has put the work in to become a better defender and that has paid dividends. How? Watch.
In the first play, look at how he goes about disrupting this LeBron drive. Herro swipes at the ball to force LeBron to pick up his handle. With everyone inside the paint, he knows he has protection on cuts and it's such a small space that he can turn around and quickly closeout. This gives him the chance to be close enough to both off-ball attackers, able to react quickly and come away with a deflection no matter what option LeBron ends up taking.
In the second play, the Heat switch everything and Reaves wants to get the ball to LeBron. Look at how Tyler can help on the pass to LeBron but still be in position to recover on Rusell. By coming to LeBron but staying active with his feet, he creates doubt in Reaves' mind, who ends up firing a bad pass.
Third play has Herro switched onto LeBron. Herro turns his back to him in order to use more strength and eventually wins his position. Reaves takes too long with his shot fake, Herro gets in front and comes away with the steal.
In the Grizzlies game, Luke Kennard came out of the bench firing, so Herro knew the Grizzlies would be trying to feed him. He goes behind on the screen, with Bam close, and quickly recovers and then sends Kennard to his right hand. Kennard is clearly uncomfortable dribbling with his off-hand, so Herro gets more physical and swipes at the ball, coming up with the steal and the and-one.