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Heat winning while waiting for Tyler Herro’s return.

Heat winning while waiting for Tyler Herro’s return.

The Miami Heat’s Tyler Herro has been sporting some extravagant sidelines outfits since breaking his hand during the NBA playoffs. However, his team would much prefer he was on the court, with his return pending but his time and games running out. The NBA Finals takes place in Miami on Wednesday, with the championship series against Denver Nuggets tied 1-1. Coach Eric Spoelstra said Herro was to do a full-contact workout on Tuesday, but remained non-committal on the player’s possible return, as he’s yet to be cleared to play.

Herro sustained the injury during the Eastern Conference playoff opener against Milwaukee Bucks while reaching for a loose ball in the second quarter. Though the player re-entered the game, he was visibly in pain in the final minute of the first half. “I feel like I had some things to prove this postseason,” Herro said in April.

Following surgery on April 21, Herro had a recovery timetable of four to six weeks, making a Finals return possible. Losing such a fundamental piece of their offense seemed like a blow that would prematurely end Heat’s postseason run, with Herro being their third-best scorer behind Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. 

Nevertheless, the team is still winning. Heat eliminated top-seeded Bucks in five games, defeated New York Knicks in six, and, after blowing a 3-0 series lead against Boston’s Eastern Conference Finals, advanced to the championship series for the second time in four seasons. Players such as Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent, and Max Straus have delivered in Herro’s absence. Vincent is Miami’s third-leading postseason scorer with 13.9 points and 3.9 assists in 31.6 minutes. Martin, who was undrafted out of college, was the breakout star of the conference finals with 19.3 points on 60% shooting.

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The team will likely welcome Herro’s return, given his shot-making and playmaking ability, according to forward Kevin Love. Butler also said he was thrilled with Miami’s success and they would do everything to secure a championship title. The AP NBA link has further details.

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