NBA Basketball Betting: Rookie of the Year 2019 - Tyler Herro

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

With New Orleans Pelicans’ rookie phenom Zion Williamson out due to injury for a number of weeks it’s no longer a foregone conclusion that he’ll be the NBA Rookie of the Year.  Current projections are that he could miss as much as two months and over 25 games.  Once he returns, the team will likely bring him along slowly in order to protect his knee.  Williamson put up insane numbers in the preseason putting up 23.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 steals in four games.  Williamson could still contend for top rookie honors and is still the second choice in the NBA futures market at priced at +300.  Memphis Grizzlies’ point guard Ja Morant is now the favorite among at +200. 

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Tyler Herro has been under the radar since he was selected with the #13 overall pick by the Miami Heat.  That’s no longer the case—he’s quickly become a popular player with Heat fans and he’s definitely got a bright future in the NBA due to his swagger, range and versatility.  He’s got good size for a shooting guard at 6’6” but will need to put on some bulk to compete at the NBA.  Then again, that’s something that can be said about most NBA rookies.  It’s important to keep in mind that he’s only 19 years old and arguably his biggest strength is his combination of confidence, shot making ability and basketball smarts.  To make a hockey comparison, he’s got basketball instincts beyond his years similar to NHL superstar Connor McDavid.  He became an important part of John Calipari’s rotation in Kentucky with his ability to get his shot under all sorts of circumstances.  As the season progressed, he became one of the players the team would look to when they needed to make big shots in ‘clutch time’.    He’s also an excellent free throw shooter and that’s always a nice attribute to have at the NBA level.  At some point, if he gets more adept at drawing fouls with his offensive moves he could be even more dangerous.

Defensively, the term you frequently hear used about Herro is ‘scrappy’.  He lacks the size and strength to match up physically with many of the opponents he’s charged with guarding but gets high marks for his work ethic, toughness and instincts.  He had considerable success at the college level by outworking opponents on defense and if he can maintain this intensity at the NBA he could become a feisty defender a la John Stockton or Mark Price.  He’s happy to fill whatever role a team needs to help them win.  As a corollary, he’s generally fearless and had some effectiveness as a rebounder at the college level.  The size and strength of NBA frontline players might limit his ability to do it in the pros but the nose for the ball and the will to win just can’t be taught.

Herro’s stock has soared since Summer League and especially since the Heat’s preseason games.  In his NBA debut, fans got a good idea of what they can expect from Herro—in 34 minutes he scored 14 points, pulled down 8 boards and picked up two steals and an assist.  His versatility will enhance his value greatly at the NBA level.  Many players are only effective if they ‘get the ball where they want it’.  Herro’s game can work in a variety of offensive sets and he’ll never be a liability on defense.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra speaks very highly of Herro’s focus and work ethic—in an age defined by ‘entitled athletes’ he’s something of a throwback:

“We say it all the time: We’re not for everyone. You have to be the right kind of player. So, for a young player you’re checking to see if there’s any kind of entitlement.”

“And there’s zero with that kid.”

“He has a whole lot to his game, because you can tell he’s put in a lot of hours and sweat equity behind the scenes when no one was watching. He’s extremely driven, very ambitious. We love that.”

Herro is impressed with the culture in Miami for the same reason:

“It was a perfect fit for the both of us; the team, and me. Just the way the culture is with the hard work, and the way they hold people accountable. I think a lot of different teams in the NBA don’t hold their players accountable and make sure that their players are on time every single day. Whether it’s lifting weights, on the court, whatever it may be. (The Heat) just holds you to a different standard.”

“I wanted to go into a place where I could work hard and get pushed to the limit and reach my full potential.”

He’s a great value at +1200 and it won’t be long before he drops to single digits odds to win.

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