The Bucket

Tyler Freaking Herro.

Jim Rome
September 24, 2020 - 9:40 am
Tyler Herro

USA Today

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“The little guy had 37 (points) tonight.” That was how Bam Adebayo summed up with Tyler Herro did to the Boston Celtics last night. And to start with, Herro is 6’6, he’s not a little guy. But calling him “the little guy” is a lot more accurate than calling him a rookie. I know he’s in his first season as a professional basketball player, but that dude is no bleeping rookie. No chance. No doubt about it. 

Rookies do not do what he did last night and they don’t do what he’s done throughout this series. Rookies do not show up in a crucial Game 4 of the Conference Finals to drop 37. Off the bench. And they don’t carry their teams to a win that leaves them one win away from the NBA Finals. They sure as hell don’t go 14 of 21 and 5 of 10 from three in the conference finals.

And don’t be fooled. This wasn’t just about a guy getting hot from deep and his team finding him. He had the whole thing working. He was even Euro-stepping fools.

And then there was this flurry early in the fourth. 

And he’ll carve you up with a perfect cut.

But of course the shot of the night came a little before that cut. The shot of the night and the biggest statement from Herro was this bomb with just over four minutes left.

He took that from Key Biscayne. That was the most comical shot of the night. Like, why not? Why don’t I take a few dribbles, step into it, and bury this dagger in the Celtics.  Because you know I will.  I know I will. And most of all the Celtics know I will. So he did. That’s the kind of swagger that quote, “little guy” has. Utterly and completely fearless. 

Again, that wasn’t a shot in a summer league game or a December regular season game that nobody’s watching. That was in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. With a five point lead. And four minutes to go. Miss that and Boston has a chance to cut it to three or two.

But no one should be surprised. He told you this was coming. When he was at Kentucky, he told you “I’m a bucket.” Damn straight he is. He told an opponent that during a game, in between free throws, and he meant it. He backed it up. And he’s still backing it up.

And that bucket just went legend. You want to put last night into perspective? Let’s go with the idea that Tyler Herro is a rookie. I mean, he doesn’t play like one or act like one, but let’s just go with the letter of the law on this one. He broke Dwyane Wade’s record for points by a rookie in a playoff game.

Actually, he didn’t break it. He shattered it. And Wade was celebrating and laughing on twitter.

As Wade tweeted: What I love about what Herro Ball is doing... We all know this isn’t just a hot game. This is how he plays the game of basketball

Again, it’s not just  he just got hot, he’s just that good. Has just that much swag.

And late in the game, Wade knew where the ball should be going: Get the ball in Baby Goat’s hands and let’s go home aka back to the hotel room

And that’s where it went and where he went. Again, think about that. They were running their offense not through, Jimmy Butler, Bam or Goran, but a rookie. Off the bench. On a huge stage. And it worked. He dominated.

And then went on to break a bunch of other records for rookies in playoff games. Here’s the list of players who scored 37 points or more in a playoff game before their 21st birthday:

Magic Johnson, 42 points vs. Philadelphia in 1980

Tyler Herro, 37 points vs. Boston last night

That’s the whole list. Just Magic and Tyler. Erv and the Bucket. Or the Baby Goat.  And by the way, remember when he told you all that he’s a bucket?

That doesn’t do him justice. Yeah, he’s a walking bucket. But he’s averaging more than 7 rebounds and 6 assists per game in this series. Quick – name Miami’s team leader in assists in this series? It’s Tyler Herro.

And who’s second in rebounding? That’s Tyler Herro, too. The Bucket is a great handle, but it’s not good enough for him. Baby Goat might really be more accurate.

You want another number that will freak you out?  It’s not just that Herro is a rookie, allegedly.

He was born in 2000. Factually. He was born in the year 2000. We are now seeing dudes born in the year 2000 lighting it up in the NBA.

And of course, since he was born in 2000, and he’s only 20, he’s not legally allowed to drink.  

He can’t drink, but he can cook. HEEEEYYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOOO

But seriously folks, here’s how he described his night.

I’m just going to read part of that back: "I went from a small town in Milwaukee to Kentucky, and nobody thought I would survive there, and nobody thought I would survive here. At the end of the day, it's just betting on myself."

He is just betting on himself and he can play with anybody. Not just play with anybody, he can beat just about anybody. And so can this Heat team. They are a walking testament to culture, to identity, and finding the right guys.

They have one player who was drafted in the top 10 – that’s Andre Iguodala and he was the ninth overall pick in 2004. PS – Tyler Herro was four years old then.

But the point of that isn’t to say that Andre is old, it’s to say that Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra and the rest of the Heat organization know who they are and what they are looking for. And they found it in guys who came later in the draft or went completely undrafted. They got those guys and then they worked their asses off. In other words, it is a roster full of guys who bet on themselves.

Because as Spoelstra said last night, Tyler Herro didn’t become a star last night. He became a star in all of the hours that he put in well before that.

“I think everybody overestimates what you can do in a day and what you can do in months of work and sweat and grind when nobody is watching. He is relentless with his work ethic. Nobody was paying attention to us during the year. He had a lot of tough moments. He did. He had some moments where it was up and down and learning about our demands on defense. But he is a worker, and he shows up the next day trying to get better every single day, and usually those incremental improvements every single day, and he earns the trust -- I think it's more important earning the trust of his teammates than the coaching staff, but it's that daily grind when nobody is watching and doing it when most people don't."

That doesn’t just sum up the Baby Goat, it sums up this entire Heat team. And it explains why they are one game away from the Finals. And why it’s a shock to all of us not a surprise to any of them.

2000? Think about that. You want to feel old. I have sound drops as old if not older than Herro

Tyler Herro is only a month older than the Tonya Harding 911 call.

Tyler is the same age as "The Tape" Jon in C-Town's lunch with the monkey

Tyler was a one year old  when Madsen asked everyone who let the the dogs out.