Heat President Pat Riley challenges Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry to be better
The Miami Heat had a great season ending a three-point miss by Jimmy Butler shortly after their second trip to the NBA Finals in three years. Heat President Pat Riley spoke to the media this week to end the year and address many of the concerns for the team going forward. Two of the topics that caught his attention were the state of Tyler Herro and Kyle Lowry.
Although Riley left the field more than a decade ago, more importantly, he still has the undivided attention and respect of the Heat players. Anyone who’s been around long enough to remember Riley as a Heat, Knicks or Lakers coach knows he’s not a tongue keeper. When Riley has something to say, you can count on it being heard, whether it’s in public or in private.
So when Riley answered the question about Herro becoming a Thermal starthe did what he always did and kept it real.
“The next step for him – and I think we’re seeing this in the league – if you want to win the championship and you want to be a starter, you really have to be a two-way player. today,” Riley said on Monday. “You have to improve in certain areas of your game. I see his defense has improved this year, he has great feet, quick…
“But as a beginner, go to training camp and win. Sometimes it’s as easy as that, and sometimes the fit is better for us, balancing the scoring energy and having someone who can really control the ball. If he wants to be the starter, we’ll see in October. That’s what you earn. Without a doubt, he has the qualities to be that. ”
Hopefully Herro has no problem with Riley calling him out and challenging him to the starting position. Tyler had a great year on the bench, winning his sixth Man of the Year by averaging under 21 ppg and shooting 40% from three points. As good as Herro’s growth as a professional player is, the NBA’s big money will go to starters, stars, and superstars. So if he wants to take his career to the next level, Riley is exactly what he needs to do.
Lowry’s name also pops up and the mention of his condition this season sounds like it will be the focal point for Riley and the Heat. Another thing known when playing for any team led by Riley is that you have to be in great form. Lowry hasn’t been in the form he needs this season, mainly due to injury.
“The bottom line for me and for me when hoping you can get the most out of a player… is you have to be world class, you just have to be.
“He’s definitely going to have to deal with that, and it’ll work out.”
Lowry has missed 19 games this year and has missed 45 games in the past two seasons between Miami and Toronto. In the Heat’s playoffs to the Eastern Conference Finals, Lowry was in only 10 of their 18 games. Lowry has shown in impulse throughout post-season that he can still be a efficient player if he makes his condition on the right track. Many injuries can be linked to a lack of conditioning, as was evident with Lowry for much of the 2021-22 campaign. I think we’ll have a rejuvenated and shrunken version of Lowry next season.
This Heat team feels like they’re in a good position, having surprised many this year with a run deep on the top capture the eastern number 1 seed. Not many people predicted that they would come back in the first round of last year’s knockout stages at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks.
As Riley also discussed, adding more flakes would be ideal but without the risk of harming the already existing chemistry. With Donovan Mitchell seemingly on his way out of Utah, I think he would be a great player for Miami and would fit right in with the ‘heat culture’ we hear so much about. If Mitchell decides to force Jazz into a deal, don’t be surprised to see Miami become a favorite place to accommodate his services.
Strange things have happened, but don’t be surprised to hear about this potential move this season. Mr. Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade is a minority owner of the Jazz, and if Mitchell comes and wants to go like that, I can see Wade helped broker a deal to bring him to the Heat. Around the NBA, the Knicks are seen as the frontrunner to get Mitchell when the time comes, but we know how this often plays out for the Knicks. In most cases, big-name freelance agents end up elsewhere.