Heat's Tyler Herro out for Game 6 vs. Celtics with Groin Injury

Erin WalshMay 27, 2022

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 21: Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat warms up before Game Three of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on May 21, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. 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.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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If the Miami Heat are going to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, they'll have to do it without Tyler Herro.

Herro was officially ruled out for Game 6 about 90 minutes before tipoff. 

"These are not easy decisions," head coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. "He has made progress but he’s not ready to step into this type of intensity.”

Herro has missed Miami's last two games because of the groin ailment, and the Heat went on to lose both contests to fall behind the Celtics 3-2 in the series. 

The 22-year-old won the 2022 Sixth Man of the Year Award after averaging 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 32.6 minutes per game. 

Herro's playing time has declined to 26.7 minutes per contest in the postseason, but he's still been effective. In 14 playoff games, he's averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

The Miami offense clearly misses him. With Herro sidelined, Caleb Martin and Duncan Robinson have both seen more playing time off the bench. Martin has averaged 9.5 points over the last two games, while Robinson has averaged 12.5 points. 

That said, starter Max Strus needs to have a much better performance in Game 6 if the Heat want to force a Game 7. Strus is 0-of-16 from the floor over the last two games, and his only points came on four free throws in Game 5. 

Aside from Herro, Miami is far from healthy. Kyle Lowry's hamstring injury appears to be lingering and Jimmy Butler's knee inflammation, which caused him to exit Game 3 early, could still be affecting him based on his lack of production over the last two contests. 

The Celtics are also dealing with injuries. Marcus Smart has been struggling with a foot ailment and ankle sprain, Robert Williams III has been nursing a sore knee and Jayson Tatum appears to be dealing with a shoulder ailment. 

The winner of this series will move on to face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, which will begin next Thursday.