One of the most intriguing regular season awards in the NBA is the Sixth Man of the Year, which typically goes to the bench player that lights up the scoreboard. This year is no exception, as Tyler Herro has separated himself from the pack in the NBA Sixth Man of the Year odds. Now in his third year, Herro has been playing sensational basketball for Miami.
NBA Sixth Man of the Year odds
Entering this season, the Heat were considered championship contenders because of their new “big three” as Kyle Lowry joined Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Miami added three former champions in Lowry, Markieff Morris, and PJ Tucker. With Duncan Robinson’s shooting prowess and the possibility of Victor Oladipo returning, Herro became an afterthought.
This meant a slightly different role off the bench for Herro, but it was not a demotion by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, from the start of the very first preseason game, the former Kentucky guard has put the league on notice. He was putting the ball in the basket at an unprecedented rate, but it was much more than just that.
— Statmuse 💭 (@statamuse) January 13, 2022
Herro has been leading the second unit in many ways. The 13th overall pick in the 2019 draft has demonstrated his ability to be a floor general that can attack from all angles and score from anywhere on the floor. He has clearly put in the work during the summer and vastly opened up his overall game. His strong play is one of the main reasons why the Heat are tied (Chicago) at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
Through 38 games this season, Herro is averaging 20.7 points per game, which ranks 22nd overall in the league. He also ranks inside the top 50 in assists and the top 25 in rebounds among guards. His 15.80 player efficiency rating is great but it doesn’t tell the whole story. He is shooting career-high percentages from the free-throw line and from three-point range, but his activity on the defensive end of the floor has been quite impressive.
With Lowry, Butler, and Adebayo all missing time and Robinson in a rough shooting slump, Herro has been the savior for this team in the first half of the season. The Heat are battling for the top spot in the East thanks to the strong play of the athletic guard, and the -400 odds for the Sixth Man award reflect that. The player with the next highest odds is Kelly Oubre Jr at +1500 but there really isn’t anyone on the same level right now.
Unfortunately, Herro entered the health and safety protocols earlier this week and will miss some time. The Heat will implement their “next man up” mentality but it just won’t be the same when their second unit tries to manufacture points without him on the floor. Erik Spoelstra has even tweaked his rotation in order to have either Lowry or Butler on the floor at all times.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 18, 2022
Herro has evolved his offensive game in a way that took him from a brash volume scorer to a playmaker that can score at all three levels. He still plays with the same confidence but also has a better understanding of opposing defenses and can exploit certain matchups when the opportunity arises. He also plays very well off the ball, benefiting from dribble handoffs and running off screens. Most importantly, he consistently makes the right play at the right time.
The odds could change in the coming weeks with Herro out of the picture, but there really isn’t one or two players in close proximity at this point in the season. The separation between himself and the rest of the field is quite large. With the second half of the season well underway and the All-Star break just around the corner, this is easily Herro’s award to lose at this point.