The Miami Heat team was waxed in game 2 of the Eastern conference finals against the Boston Celtics. Heat guard Tyler Herro did not have a good game, scoring only 11 points. He was the subject of criticism on ESPN’s “First Take” from Amar’e Stoudemire and Kendrick Perkins.
“He wants to wear the shades, he wants to wear his back out in press conferences, he wants to do the gun show,” Stoudemire said. “He wants to do all this entertainment stuff, but where is the focus on basketball?”
“He wants to wear the shades, he wants to wear his back out in press conferences, he wants to do the gun show. He wants to do all this entertainment stuff, but where is the focus on basketball?”
— First Take (@FirstTake) May 20, 2022
Stoudemire and Perk are fixating on Herro’s postgame outfit after game one, where he rocked a sleeveless shirt and shades, causing teammate Bam Adebayo to laugh.
Tyler Herro showed up to presser in a sleeveless shirt and Bam immediately made fun of him 😂😂pic.twitter.com/JMUMUN21kZ
— Gifdsports (@gifdsports) May 18, 2022
Amar’e and Perk are being a bit unfair. It was one poor game and it wasn’t because he wore shades and a sleeveless shirt. Herro works relentlessly on his game and played poorly. It happens. It’s also against the best defense in the league in the Celtics.
Heat culture doesn’t tolerate players who aren’t committed to the game and who aren’t 100 percent committed to the game. You couldn’t last on that team otherwise.
But if you wear an outfit like that the game before and play poorly, you will get clowned on these talking head shows.
Where Amar’e and Perk needed to direct some of their critique was at Bam Adebayo. In 29 minutes, Adebayo scored six points on only six attempts. They need more out of one of their max salary players. He gives it on the defensive end, but is not attacking on offense.
When he has the ball 20 feet from the rim, the Celtics basically ignore him — shutting off his passing options and daring him to shoot or create, which he has been reluctant to do.
“They came out and hit us in the mouth,” Adebayo said postgame. “We don’t know how to respond.
“It’s first to four. Obviously, we’ve got to go back and watch film and see what we did wrong. See the mistakes we made and how we can bounce back.”
Of course there will be film study and adjustments. But the biggest thing is, Adebayo needs to play aggressively on offense. He was an All-Star in 2020, and played on Team USA in the last Olympics. It’s the conference finals and he’s playing against rivals he’s known forever in the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum and Gran Williams.
Adebayo averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds and three assists during the season. He shot a team-high 55.7 percent from the field and attempted 13 field goals a game. He had a 61 TS% and 56 eFG%. He finished second on the team in EPM. In the postseason, Adebayo is averaging 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
He’s going to have to elevate his play or the Heat will not advance past the conference finals. They still might not be good enough to beat the Celtics, but if they are to have a chance Adebayo will need to be better.
Heading into game five, this needs to be a 2-2 series. If the Celtics are up 3-1, it will end in five and there will be questions to answer this offseason in Miami.