Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro was named 2021-22 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, the league announced. In a landslide, Herro received 96 out of the possible 100 first-place votes to become the first Heat player to ever win the award.
Herro’s 488 points in the vote were more than double Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love, who finished second with three first-place votes and 214 points total. Cameron Johnson of the Phoenix Suns finished third with the one remaining first-place vote and 128 points.
For as good seasons as both Love and Johnson had, this was one award that never seemed in doubt and the voting numbers showed that. Herro had an outstanding season for Miami, helping them to the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a career-high 20.7 points per game, ranking second on the team behind Jimmy Butler and becoming just the fifth player since 1970 to average at least 20 points as a reserve.
Herro also averaged 5.0 rebounds and a career-high 4.0 assists while shooting 44.7% from the field and 39.9% from 3-point range, both career-high percentages as well. His 1,182 points off the bench also set a Heat single-season franchise record
This third season was a bounceback one for Herro, who burst on the scene as a rookie for Miami in 2019-20. That season, Herro was named to the All-Rookie second team but really stepped up in the playoffs, helping the Heat make a run to the NBA Finals. His second season was an inconsistent one, however, undoubtedly hampered by the quick turnaround and injury issues.
But this third season showed Herro is here to stay as he scored in double-figures in 63 of his 66 games played with eight 30-point outings as well. Herro is the first Heat player to win any yearly award since LeBron James took home NBA MVP honors in 2013 and is also the first Eastern Conference player to take home the Sixth Man award since Lou Williams did so with the Toronto Raptors in 2015.
Last year’s Sixth Man of the Year, Jordan Clarkson of the Utah Jazz finished fourth in the voting while Luke Kennard of the L.A. Clippers rounded out the top-5.
Two 2021-22 NBA Awards remaining to be announced
With this announcement, there are just two NBA regular season awards that have yet to be announced.
NBA Coach of the Year will be decided between finalists Taylor Jenkins of the Memphis Grizzlies, Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns and Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat. Lastly is NBA MVP, which comes down to Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.
In previous weeks, Boston’s Marcus Smart was named Defensive Player of the Year, Memphis’ Ja Morant took home Most Improved Player and Toronto’s Scottie Barnes landed Rookie of the Year.
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