Tyler Herro on early-season surge, ‘I’m a natural scorer’; Heat honor late Dr. Jack Ramsay

MIAMI — Tyler Herro believes this is where he should be, as he entered Wednesday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets at Kaseya Center not only as one of 18 players averaging at least 25 points, but ninth in the NBA in the total points.

“My coaches trust me,” Herro said after the morning shootaround. “My teammates believe in me, and they help me confidently get to my spots.

“That, having that belief and trust in those guys, allows me to do what I’m doing. And obviously couldn’t do it without their backing.”

Herro went into Wednesday averaging 25.3 points. His highest season average in his previous four was 20.7 in 2021-22, when he won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.

With his 35 points in Monday night’s road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Herro became the fourth Heat player with at least 100 total points in his first four games, joining LeBron James (132, 2011), Alonzo Mourning (109, 1996) and Dwyane Wade (108, 2004; 106, 2009).

In addition, Herro went into Wednesday night with 16 assists to eight turnovers, at times cast at point guard.

“Just trying to read the game, just making the right play, whether it’s I’m open for a shot, or it’s making a play for a teammate,” he said. “I’m just trying to make the right play. That’s part of my maturity, my game, just continuing to grow. So just trying to balance that.”

Herro is in the first year of a four-year extension that could pay up to $130 million, well aware of what he primarily is being asked to do.

“Obviously,” he said, “I’m a natural scorer. That’s what I work on the most. I’m just trying to find that balance and being a complete player.”

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Jack Ramsay tribute

The Heat on Wednesday honored late team television analyst and Hall of Fame coach Dr. Jack Ramsay with the formal unveiling of the Dr. Jack Ramsay Memorial Media Center.

The facility is located at the top of the lower bowl at Kaseya Center, across from the Heat bench, the location where Eric Reid and John Crotty call games for Bally Sports Sun. Lifesize pictures of Ramsay adorn the entrances to Sections 118 and 119, with custom designed panels with his broadcast catchphrases.

Ramsay served as Heat television analyst for eight seasons alongside Reid, starting in 1992.

But the Heat ties date to well before that arrival. Ramsay, who coached Bill Walton and the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA championship, had coached current Heat coach Erik Spoelstra at a youth camp in Portland, where Spoelstra was raised.

Later, in the 2013 NBA Finals, Spoelstra ran a play against the San Antonio Spurs called “Ramsay” in the Game 7 championship-winning game of that series.

Ramsay was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992 and died in 2014. He was known for his colorful, animated broadcast calls such as “Len-aaard” for guard Voshon Lenard, “Thun-dah” for forward Dan Majerle, and “stuffa” for dunks.

As part of the commemoration the Heat hosted four of Ramsay’s children. Ramsay had spent his final years living in Naples, commuting to Heat games in Miami.

“Calling Heat games was a way for him to stay involved with the game that he loved,” said son Chris Ramsay, a longtime NBA presence at ESPN. “He always appreciated the opportunity that Pat Riley gave him to broadcast the games and he cherished his relationships with Eric Spoelstra and the other Heat coaches and players.”

A birthday milestone

Spoelstra not only turned 53 on Wednesday, but worked his 1,200th regular-season game as head coach of the Heat.

Spoelstra is just the third NBA coach to work 1,000 or more games with only one franchise for his entire career, joining Gregg Popovich (Spurs) and Al Attles (Golden State Warriors).