Tyler Herro Talks Bench Role with Heat: 'Definitely Thought I Would Be Starting'

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIApril 8, 2021

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 1: Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat high fives teammates on April 1, 2021 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Carlos Goldman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Carlos Goldman/NBAE via Getty Images

After coming off the bench as a rookie last year, Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro envisioned a different role for his sophomore season in the NBA.

While he started the first 14 games of the year, Herro has been playing in a bench role for the Heat since the start of February, something he told reporters he has grown accustomed to at this point of the year. 

“Definitely thought I would be starting,” he said, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “But I think as the season goes on, things change and I’m OK with coming off the bench right now and just continuing to do that."

The 21-year-old, the No. 13 pick by the Heat in 2019, is averaging 15.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists through 31.7 minutes per game, all improvements from his Eastern Conference Championship campaign, though his three-point percentage has dipped from 38.9 to 33.0 percent.

While he's certainly producing at the level worthy of a starting spot, there's simply no room for the Kentucky product on the floor. 

Miami already boasted Jimmy Butler and Duncan Robinson. Since they acquired Victor Oladipo at the trade deadline, Herro will likely only crack the lineup in case of an injury. 

For the Heat as a whole, it's a good problem to have. Goran Dragic, who is averaging 13.3 points per game, is also on the bench next to Herro. 

“We got a lot of guys who can score, a lot of guys who can play," he said. "So once I get in, just try to keep the flow going and try to keep the rhythm of the team going.”

Herro will bring his next-man-up mentality into Thursday's tilt with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers (7:30 p.m. ET).