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Bond that endures, ‘autonomy’ to thrive has Heat’s Adebayo, Herro taking flight to All-Star Weekend

The two-man game didn’t take flight on Tuesday, with Tyler Herro remaining behind in South Florida, missing Wednesday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center with a bruised left knee.

But the tandem will be on the move Thursday, when Herro and Bam Adebayo depart on the Miami Heat’s team plane to All-Star Weekend in Utah, Herro for Saturday’s 3-point contest, Adebayo’s for Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.

For all the synergies Erik Spoelstra has coaxed as coach this season, none have come close to the chemistry crafted by Herro and Adebayo in their pick-and-roll game.

If Adebayo is lofting what has become a trademark feathery lane jumper, the odds favor Herro as the setup man.

And if Herro is moving with space to attack, there likely was an Adebayo screen or roll providing the impetus.

Without Herro, the path might not have been as clear to Adebayo’s second career All-Star berth. And without Adebayo’s craftyness, there might not have been the shooting percentage to vault Herro to All-Star Saturday.

So they take flight to Salt Lake City not only with Spoelstra’s seal of approval, but with the urging of wanting to see even more from the duo when the team regroups for the stretch run a week from Friday.

“First of all, that’s what we’ve been trying to get, is can they get to more of those triggers without the head coach having to choreograph it or call ATOs or diagram plays or make a play call?” Spoelstra said of the Herro-Adebayo two-man game reaching a point where triggers such as after-timeout play calls aren’t necessary to put the young duo into dual action.

“It happens better when it’s organic and more random. I don’t care how they get to it, as long as they get to it.”

As Adebayo and Herro prepare to wing it to Utah, it’s not anything close to the Jazz classic of Stockton-to-Malone, but there is ample room to create their own rhythm, Adebayo now in the second year of his five-year, $163 million rookie-scale extension, Herro next season to begin his four-year, $130 million extension.

While the contracts were not contingent on each other in the same vein as when Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh linked up to form the Heat’s Big Three in 2010, Spoelstra is hopeful of evolving the two-way chemistry on an elite scale.

“And as many different ways and creative ways they can get to a two-man action, I want them to do it,” he said of Herro and Adebayo. “They have the autonomy to do it.”

That is the next step, to have it become practically innate.

“There should be a radar finding each other, because they each help each other and ultimately help our team, because we can play out of that simple spacing, of that two-man action,” Spoelstra said. “Everybody else knows what to do off of them.”

And that also brings it back to the very element that has Herro headed to All-Star Weekend, that the deeper on the perimeter Herro can draw the defense with his 3-point range, the more it opens space for Adebayo to work the lane.

“Tyler, the more he’s assertive on the catch behind the line, it opens up everything else for him and for us,” Spoelstra said.

That makes the dual appearances at All-Star Weekend for exhibition purposes only. There is no means for Adebayo to feed Herro for his 3-pointers in the annual contest, with balls merely shot from racks.

And having yet to lift his game to the next level, Herro won’t be alongside to load up on assists to Adebayo during the All-Star Game.

But that both are taking flight for the Heat to All-Star Weekend is fitting, considering it might be the best way for the Heat to take flight in the standings once their schedule resumes Feb. 24.

“We’ll do what we have to do,” Herro said of getting back in rhythm alongside Adebayo after the two first have their individual fun in Utah.


Source: Berkshire mont

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