Tyler Herro says he will come off the Miami Heat's bench 'for now'

Here's what Tyler Herro is saying about Erik Spoelstra's decision to bring him off the Miami Heat's bench.
Apr 5, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) shoots the ball during the
Apr 5, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) shoots the ball during the / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Herro has made it clear throughout his career that he views himself as a starter and that hasn’t changed, but he also understands now is not the time to reprise his role as the Miami Heat are working to avoid the play-in tournament.

By accepting to come off the bench, Herro is helping jolt the Heat’s offense without creating a potential complication to the starting lineup amid the team’s playoff push.

“Look, there are six games left,” Herro said. “I just missed 20 games. It’s hard to just implement me into the starting lineup at this point.”

Herro, who hadn’t played since Feb. 23 because of knee and foot injuries, had 17 points on 7 for 14 shooting, six assists and five rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench in Friday night’s 119-104 win over the Houston Rockets. He had started 103 straight regular-season games before coming off the bench on Friday for the first time since the 2021-22 season, when he was named Sixth Man of the Year.

“Whatever Spo decides to do is ultimately up to him,” Herro said. “It’s not an easy decision. Obviously, everybody knows I’m a starter in the league. But like I said, to come back with six games left, it’s tough to just implement me into the lineup like that. 

“But ultimately, I’m going to get starter minutes and that’s all that matters. I’m a starter, but I’ll come off the bench for now.”

Herro did not start but he did close the competitive portion of Miami’s win. After re-entering the game with 3:01 left in the third quarter, Herro remained on the court until the game was decided with 1:28 left. 

Herro helped stretch Miami’s lead from 11 to 16 with 11 points, four rebounds and two assists during that stretch.

Erik Spoelstra suggested the team is monitoring Herro’s minutes as he works his way back from injury. Herro received a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat his injured foot on March 15 to help speed up the recovery process from a right foot injury.

With Herro back for the final six games, the Heat are as healthy as they’ve been in months. Josh Richardson, sidelined after shoulder surgery, is the only player listed as out on the injury report ahead of Sunday’s high-stakes game against the Indiana Pacers. 

“It’s just great to have him back,” Spoelstra said of Herro. “His head coach didn’t forget what he brings to the table. That skill level, the creativity, the speed, the quickness, all that stuff is what we need.”