Tyler Herro’s recent stretch solidifies Sixth Man of the Year status

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro has been on a tear coming out of the All-Star break, further tightening his grip on the Sixth Man of the Year award.

Herro poured in 21 points and seven rebounds to lead the Heat to a 99-82 win over the Philadelphia 76ers – his sixth-straight game of 20-plus points.

“Just playing hard, playing free, playing with my teammates,” Herro said postgame. “My coaches and my teammates, they trust me with the ball so just being able to play free and make plays, it’s been fun.”

Herro has been the league’s most consistent bench player this season and with just 17 regular season games remaining, his odds to take home the award tell the story.

Odds for Vegas Insider:

2021-22 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Odds
Player Odds
Tyler Herro (Miami Heat) -2000
Kelly Oubre Jr. (Charlotte Hornets) +2500
Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers) +3000
Montrezl Harrell (Charlotte Hornets) +4000
Buddy Hield (Indiana Pacers) +6600

Miami has now won 11 of their last 13 games, to extend their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference to 3.0 games, including wins over the Bulls, Nets and 76ers in their past four games.

In a season where the Heat have been ravaged by injuries and absences to their key guys in Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, Herro has been a constant, appearing in 52 of their 65 games, averaging a career-high 20.6 points in 32.7 minutes per night.

After struggling in his sophomore season, the 22-year-old proclaimed that his name belonged alongside the likes of Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Ja Morant, raising some eyebrows, but he’s more than backed up his pre-season confidence, blossoming into an elite scorer, with a major end-of-season award on likely on the horizon.

“I feel like I’m in the same conversion as those guys,” Herro said ahead of the 2021-22 campaign. The young guys coming up in the league who can be All-Stars, superstars one day — Luka, Trae, Ja — those guys like that, I feel like my name should be in that category, too.

“I put the work in, and I’m just continuing to get better every single day. I’ve got a lot of goals in mind to be an All-Star one day and continue to chase my dream, so I’m really excited to see where I can go. “

Herro leads the Heat with 30 games scoring 20-plus points, with his five 30-plus point games only bettered by Jimmy Butler (7).

As they look to build momentum ahead of the postseason, Herro’s consistent scoring off the bench bodes as a genuine x-factor for the Heat, who have amassed a 43-22 record, thanks largely to their stellar defense.

MORE: Heat defense is built to shut down anyone and everyone

It’s not just the scoring, it’s how he’s scoring.

Per NBA Stats, Herro is averaging 8.9 shots per game with the closest defender within four feet, second only behind Jimmy Butler (10.1), with his ability to knock down shots in tight spaces from mid-range, purpose-built for playoff basketball.

“I think people know I’m a shooter. I shoot the ball well, ”Herro said.

“But I think my best thing is off the dribble, getting in the paint, attacking, getting to the midrange, getting to the rim. I think that’s what I do best. I think I’m hard to stay in front of when you’re playing the shot and then my handle gets me to where I want to go. “

Leaning on their fifth-ranked defense to climb to the top of the East, the Heat will need an increased dose of offense come the postseason and Herro’s bucket-getting ability is at the top of the list.

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