Three things to know: Tyler Herro suddenly can’t miss, 19 3s over last two games
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1) Tyler Herro suddenly can’t miss, 19 3s over last two games
For the past few weeks, much of the talk in Miami about how to spark the Heat has focused on moving Tyler Herro back to the bench. Sure, they gave him a starter’s contract over the summer, but he dominates the ball and that doesn’t always fit smoothly next to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, plus the Miami bench that was a strength last season (when Herro was the Sixth Man of the Year) has become a weakness.
Tyler Herro heard that talk and made his statement.
He came out Wednesday night in Oklahoma City and knocked down nine 3-pointers, including the game-winner, to spark a Miami win (110-108).
Thursday night in Houston he topped that with 10 3-pointers and a career-high 41 points in another Miami victory.
It wasn’t just Herro, the Heat were knocking down everything as a team on the way to a franchise-record 24 3-pointers for the game.
So, about the move to the bench…
Miami has won three straight, all on the road, and now has moved to .500 as they head to Mexico City for an international game against the Spurs (a rivalry game… if this was 2014). The Heat aren’t looking like a threat to the Celtics and Bucks, or even looking as good as we expected this season, but this is a team better built for the grind of postseason basketball and if they can find an in-season rhythm they become a bigger threat in the East.
And Herro will be at the heart of that rhythm, one way or another.
2) Ja Morant’s triple-double sparks Grizzlies’ rout of Bucks
This could be an NBA Finals preview — the Bucks are on the top tier in the East with the Celtics, and the Grizzlies are now the top seed in the West.
Ja Morant and Memphis made a statement they belong on that level Thursday night with a 142-101 rout of the Bucks. Morant had a triple-double of 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Best number to tell you what happened in this game: The Grizzlies had 86 points in the paint, the Bucks 38.
Memphis led this by 50 in the fourth quarter, which had even die-hards switching over to Peacock to watch “A Friend of the Family.” Memphis scored 71 points in the first half against one of the best defenses in the NBA.
“They were just playing well. Knocking down shots,” Giannis Antetokounmpo told the Associated Press. “They were running. Their pace was really fast. They were just playing good basketball.”
This win moved the Grizzlies up to the top seed in the West because…
3) Jordan Clarkson puts up 39, sparks Jazz win over Pelicans
The Utah Jazz, looking to get back on track after cooling off from their hot start, may have done so by taking both halves of a two-game set from the (formerly) West-leading Pelicans.
Jordan Clarkson sparked the second win scoring 39 points, including the first couple of buckets in overtime when the Jazz pulled away.
Utah had a more balanced attack with Lauri Markkanen adding 31 points and Malik Beasley putting up 17.
The Pelicans looked like they might pull away for the win in the third, getting up by 10 at one point, but they couldn’t sustain the level of execution. Zion Williamson finished with 31 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, while CJ McCollum added 28 points.
BONUS THING TO KNOW: The Warriors will be without Curry for weeks due to a shoulder injury suffered Wednesday night.
Stephen Curry, who suffered an injury during last night’s game in Indiana, underwent an MRI today.— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 15, 2022
The MRI confirmed that Stephen experienced a left shoulder subluxation. A timeline for his return will be provided in the coming days. pic.twitter.com/mzE0kDP2G2
A shoulder subluxation is essentially a partial dislocation (in a subluxation the humerus slides partially out of the joint and then slides back into place, as opposed to coming all the way out in a dislocation). This usually also includes a labral tear to the cartilage that surrounds the shoulder joint. Recover usually takes around three weeks.
Here’s why Golden State fans should be worried: When Curry is off the court, the Warriors’ offensive rating drops to 103, more than five points per 100 possessions below the worst offense in the NBA for the season (Charlotte), and the Warriors have a net rating of -11.1.