Evan’s Take: It’s Herro Time: Why you should take Miami seriously 

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Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) misses a high pass as Orlando Magic guard R.J. Hampton (13) defends on the play during the second half at FTX Arena. Photo by Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports.

After an incredible 107-90 win against the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra spoke with the media following the game, saying, “We’ll need all of it. We’ll need the scoring. We’ll need the playmaking. We’ll need the decision-making. The IQ from our best players.”  

Spoelstra echoed the talent level, the competitiveness and the high energy of a Miami Heat team that is anxious to prove doubters wrong and return to the NBA Finals. With a total reworking of the entire team, this could undoubtedly be the Heat’s best chance since the Lebron James era to make a real chance at the Finals, and they certainly have the talent to make it happen. 

Take the star of the Miami Heat, Jimmy Butler, as an example of the team’s great play to start the year. Butler has proven time and time again that he is ready to do just about anything to bring Miami another ring. He’s not only the perfect leader for a team that has graciously accepted his leadership, but catered to the fiery personality that has caused Butler’s previous teams to move on from him. The All-Star has inspired his teammates with insane 3:30 a.m. practices and pushing every player to their utmost potential. There is no better representation of this hard work resulting in great play on the court than young Miami Heat shooting guard Tyler Herro.  

At the start of the 2021 NBA season, Herro said in an interview with Bally Spots Sun, “I feel like I’m in the same conversation as those guys, the young guys coming up in the league who can be All-Stars, superstars one day… Luka, Trae, Ja… I feel like my name should be in that category too.”  

While it’s been only three games to start the season, Herro has been on fire to start the season, including a 30 point outing in an overtime loss against the Indiana Pacers. While Herro had a disappointing sophomore season in the NBA, Herro is ready to step up to the challenge this year.  

When discussing the team, it’s hard to forget the big man in the paint, Bam Adebayo. Adebayo has been key to the success of the Heatles ever since the team gave the center the green light to start at the five spot after the downfall of former South Beach center Hassan Whiteside. Adebayo has not only been an All-Star since taking the starting center position, but has also been a force at the defensive end, symbolized by the center’s multi-time selection to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team and his disrespectful block on NBA superstar Jayson Tatum in the NBA Bubble. He will no doubt have a massive impact on whether the Heat journey back to the NBA Finals or get shut down early once again. 

Orlando Magic guard Jalen Suggs (4) loses possession of the ball as Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry (7) defends on the play during the first half at FTX Arena. Photo by Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The most significant question mark of the entire lineup will be in new free-agent acquisition Kyle Lowry. While Lowry is not the same player he once was, the Toronto Raptors legend still has plenty in the tank, and is undoubtedly an upgrade over former Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic. Lowry averaged 17.2 points and 7.3 assists per game last season with Toronto. While Lowry’s scoring may be diminished, his assists numbers should remain with several options, including Butler, Adebayo and Herro. 

This team carries depth to go along with its stars as well. Sharpshooter Duncan Robinson has been one of the league’s best shooters and can be counted on to hit clutch shots for Miami. While former All-Star Victor Oladipo is injured, the team will have another effective option to the scoring lane if the guard returns back to form. The team’s big man depth is one of the best in the league, with defensive anchor P.J. Tucker, Dewayne Dedmon and Markieff Morris.  

Other than Miami’s talent level, the Eastern Conference is as open as ever with multiple contenders like the Brooklyn Nets, the reigning NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls. Many teams in the Eastern Conference can look to make the Finals, and the Heat certainly has as good of a chance as any team. Even though the Milwaukee Bucks missed vital players like Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez, a 42 point blowout by Miami showed the true power of the squad as they shut down former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and got the star into early foul trouble.  

Miami’s defense has always been outstanding, and after three games, they have set a defensive standard of excellence. After being a top 10 defensive team in the NBA in the previous NBA season, the team leads the league in defensive rating to start the year. With the addition of Tucker to the already impressive duo of Butler and Adebayo, the team is ready to lock down their opponents and turn defense into offense.  

Miami has set a precedent for success and has something to prove to both the fans and the organization. The team will certainly compete in the Eastern Conference and have a real shot at competing for another NBA ring.  

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