On Tuesday, it was announced that Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro had won the National Basketball Association’s Sixth Man of the year award for this season.
Herro certainly had a very strong season, averaging 20.7 points and 4.0 assists in 32.6 minutes a game for the Heat, who finished with the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
But many people in Northeast Ohio feel that Kevin Love got robbed of the award.
For the past few years, Love was considered washed up and possibly even a malcontent.
But he had a bit of a renaissance this year, and he posted strong numbers while serving as something of an elder statesman for an upstart and promising Cavs team.
Shoutout to Kevin Love.
in 22.5 MPG
He had his highest PTS/REB per 36 minutes (22/12) since 4 seasons ago. pic.twitter.com/CmJ53zmTjl
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 3, 2022
Should Love have been given the award, or did Herro actually deserve it?
Love Has Gotten Back To Basics
Several years ago, Love was known as something of a scoring and rebounding machine during his days with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
His best statistical season may have been the 2013-14 campaign when he put up 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game while earning his third All-Star game selection.
Love also had a number of 30-point, 20-rebound games while with the Timberwolves, including a 31-point, 31-rebound performance on Nov 12. 2010 versus the New York Knicks.
When LeBron James came back to The Land in 2014, the Cavs acquired Love in return for Andrew Wigging, whom they had taken that summer with the first pick in the NBA draft.
Love helped James and crew get to the NBA Finals in each of the next four seasons while playing a key role in the Cavs finally winning their first world championship in 2016.
But after James packed his bags for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018, Love’s fortunes took a nosedive.
He was hit hard by the injury bug and failed to appear in as many as 60 games in each of the next three seasons.
His name frequently came up in trade rumors, and it was thought that the team would have to get rid of him in order to return to the playoffs.
But Love proved those naysayers wrong this year.
He played in 74 games, and although his basic stats (13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game) weren’t earth-shattering, he improved his efficiency.
Love made 39.2 percent of his 3-point attempts in 2022, which was his best such mark since 2018.
Herro Is On The Rise
In the end, however, Herro seemed to make a bigger impact on the Heat.
On a team that has been criticized by some for lacking a dominant scorer for 48 minutes, Herro was, at times, its most dangerous scorer.
He had eight games with at least 30 points this season, while Love only had two such contests.
In Game 1 of Miami’s best-of-seven series versus the Philadelphia 76ers, Herro went 9-of-17 from the field and 4-of-6 from 3-point range to score 25 points while also racking up seven assists.
Masterful game from Tyler Herro playing almost exclusively on the ball during Miami's win over the Sixers. 25 PTS, 7 AST and 0 TOV in 29 MIN while knocking down 4-of-6 threes. Showed his value as both a scorer and playmaker in PnR. Still just 22 years old. pic.twitter.com/wlozq8ngiT
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) May 3, 2022
Herro seems to have an extra gear or two that Love lacks at this point in his career.
The Heat guard may have deserved the Sixth Man of the Year award, but Love deserves plenty of credit for resurrecting himself and proving that he’s still an asset to a Cavs team that is finally on the rise.