NBA Rundown Week 7: Miami Heat make waves in the East; Cavaliers put Kevin Love up for trade and more

  • Miami Heat are currently third in the Eastern Conference standings with a 17-6 record.

  • Miami Heat trail only Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference table.

  • Miami Heat have not tasted defeat in consecutive games this season after 23 games.

Tyler Herro is just a teenager, playing in his rookie season in the NBA. But Herro could also prove to be the talisman for the Miami Heat this season, if Sunday night’s game was anything to go by.

The 19-year-old ended the game with 27 points, but more tellingly, he scored 16 of Miami’s final 18 points in their win over Chicago Bulls in overtime.

“I don’t shy away from taking the big shot. I have a lot of confidence. Down the stretch, Jimmy (Butler) trusted me with the ball, he got me in good spots to knock down a couple of threes,” Herro, who was drafted in at No 13 in the 2019 Draft, told the media after the game.

His confidence and his 'big shot' are also reinforcing the faith Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and the team’s superstar Butler have in him.

“If your max player (Jimmy Butler) trusts you at that point in the game — and Jimmy was looking for him — that says all you need to know,” Spoelstra said after the game.

The Heat have had to expedite Herro’s transition to the starting five given injuries to Goran Dragic, who suffered an injury to his groin, and Justise Winslow, who’s missed the past couple of games due to a strained lower back. But as a primary ball handler, Herro has more than stepped up.

If Herro is one reason for the Heat currently being third in the Eastern Conference standings — with a 17-6 record trailing Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics — Butler, brought on-board in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers, is definitely another.

The mercurial wing player’s shooting is not up to his own high standards — he’s currently racking up the worst shooting percentage in the league since he was a rookie himself — yet, he’s making a difference in other ways, such as assists and rebounding, both areas where he’s currently averaging career best numbers.

This Heat team has currently shown that it does not have a single superstar or a duo propelling it to victory. Rather, with Bam Adebayo also playing a critical role in the team’s success, they are proving to be a sum of their parts. Their run of form so far has shown that. The team has not been beaten in consecutive games this season, and after a long stretch of constant travelling, the next couple of months will bring them the comfort of playing a back-to-back games at home.

The Playoffs may be a fair way ahead in the future, but the present looks bright for the Heat.

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Updated Date: Dec 10, 2019 18:10:05 IST