Before the NBA season was interrupted, Miami Heat guards Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn were well on the way to earning All-Rookie honors.
And then the coronavirus pandemic slowed all their momentum.
With the season set to restart, they are among the biggest keys to the Heat making a deep run in the playoffs. Nunn and Herro are two of SI.com's six first-year players to watch the remainder of the season. The others are Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans), Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets) and Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers).
Nunn was the leading contender to Morant for the Rookie of the Year award before the break. Williamson was left out of the discussion because he didn't play enough games due to injury. Nunn, who went undrafted in 2018 and spent last year with the Golden State Warriors G League team, was one of the league's biggest surprises. He is averaging 15.6 points on 44 percent shooting after beginning the year in the starting lineup.
"While he struggled slightly prior to the league’s stoppage of play, he did play one of his most complete games of the second half of the season in the Heat’s final game before the stoppage of play, scoring 24 points and hitting a career-high six three-pointers against Charlotte," SI.com writer Ben Pickman wrote.
Herro wasn't too far behind at 12.9 points and four rebounds a game. He was just starting to work his way back following an ankle injury that caused him to miss 15 games.
"Like Nunn, he could see an increased role in the backcourt, having presumably fully healed by the time the NBA season resumes," Pickman wrote. "Miami was 27-5 at home this season, but merely 14-19 on the road. Its rookies could go a long way in determining how well it performs this summer and potentially into the fall."
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