Tyler Herro emphasizes the underdog mentality that makes the Heat so dangerous

Herro will be a big factor in Miami’s playoff run as he was injured for most of last season.

It will be another dreadful road back to the NBA Finals for the Miami Heat, as their first playoff series will come against the No. 1 seed Boston Celtics. With key injuries to the team like Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier, there are already those writing off the Heat, but star Tyler Herro explains that they are “better when our backs are against the wall.”

“Honestly, I like this position,” Herro said after the win against the Bulls in the play-in tournament. “A lot of people didn’t think we would win (Friday against the Bulls) and that’s part of it. I feel like we’re better when our backs are against the wall anyway. So we go to Boston on Saturday and come up with a plan with the coaching staff to stop one of the better teams, almost always, on paper.”

There’s no doubt that Miami has embraced these types of positions numerous times in the past, as recently as last year when they reached the NBA Finals as the eighth seed. They are in the same situation, but without the aforementioned key players like Butler and Rozier.

Bam Adebayo says it will be a “great opportunity” for Herro

    Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) dribbles a basketball against the Chicago Bulls in the fourth quarter during a play-in game of the 2024 NBA playoffs at Kaseya Center.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

That means Herro will be key in this current postseason run, which is another motivation considering he missed most of last year’s miraculous playoff run with a broken hand. Longtime teammate Bam Adebayo said that when Herro shows his best version, he feels Miami will too win playoff games for them.

“I think this is a great opportunity for Tyler. We need him to be himself,” Adebayo said. “Because that’s his best version and I feel like if he’s his best version, we’ll win games.”

Erik Spoelstra talks to Heat about Herro’s versatility

Herro also said that it means a lot to him to be involved in the playoffs this season as he will be one of the most important players on the team. He struggled in the Heat’s first play-in tournament game, but came back with a vengeance in the win over the Bulls, where he scored a team-high 24 points, collected 10 rebounds and recorded nine assists, as Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra tells. what Herro brings to the group.

“I always feel like our guys go out there and seize the moment. Tyler is a competitor,” Spoelstra said after Friday’s win. “So he will always bring a great mentality to the game and I think that comes with the competition. Sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don’t. How you respond to it and how you continue to show up the next day and the next opponent, the next challenge, I think that’s what makes or breaks people in this league. And we needed a performance from him tonight and he did it on all levels. Defensively he was a playmaker for us. He played the ball for us. He knocked down shots for us and they created things at the end of the offense when we needed shots. So he did it all tonight.

The Heat and Celtics will meet again in the playoffs, as it will be the fourth time in the last five years, although this has usually been in the Eastern Conference Finals rather than the first round. Miami fans are hoping history can repeat itself like last season, when the team defeated the Bulls in the play-in and then defeated the No. 1 seed, but this year could be the toughest of them all.