Concern remains for Heat’s Hero ahead of Game 7 vs. Celtics, ‘It’s a sensitive injury, so he got to take his time’– The Mercury News

The Tyler Herro watch continued into a second week, with the Miami Heat sixth man continuing to be listed as questionable for Sunday night’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics at FTX Arena.

Asked after the morning shootaround if he had an update, coach Erik Spoelstra said, “I don’t,” with that the limit of the discussion.

But center Bam Adebayo did not make it sound as if there was optimism in the locker room with Herro’s strained left groin.

“He’s still taking his time,” Adebayo said. “It’s a sensitive injury. So, he got to take his time.”

Herro, the 2022 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, last played in the Heat’s May 21 Game 3 victory over the Celtics at TD Garden, when he closed 4 of 15 from the field in an uneven eight-point performance.

He then sat out the following three games, in each case listed as questionable until being declared out shortly before game time.

Herro had somewhat of a breakout performance in the series opener against the Celtics, when he closed with 18 points and eight rebounds.

Also listed as questionable for the Heat ahead of Sunday night’s Game 7 were Kyle Lowry, Max Strus and Gabe Vincent with hamstring strains, and PJ Tucker with knee irritation. Those four all have played the past week while listed with those ailments.

For the Celtics, guard Marcus Smart (ankle) and center Robert Williams (knee) also were back on the injury report as questionable, a designation that did not keep them out of the Heat’s Game 6 victory in Boston.

The Celtics remain without rookie guard Sam Hauser, who is dealing with a right-shoulder instability episode.

Spoelstra did not attempt to downplay the magnitude of the moment.

Of his words to the team after the morning shootaround, he said, “I told the guys when we brought it in, like, ‘Good luck trying to take a nap.’ “

Adebayo said little was left to be said.

“Win or go home. That’s the game seven, win or go home,” he said. “It sounds pretty cliche when people say it, but it’s really the last go round in this series.”

So, Spoelstra said, embrace the moment.

“I think more than anything, as competitors, you just want to have great gratitude for this opportunity and embrace the competition and everything that Game 7 will present,” he said.

But that didn’t mean strategy also wasn’t addressed, including maintaining focus on the Celtics’ Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

“We just have to continue to take away some of the comfort things that can get them going,” he said. “It’s easier said than done.

“And if we do get the ball out of their hands, we have to be a whole lot better on our closeouts and containing the other guys, who are extremely dangerous.”


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