We are officially one week into the 2021-22 NBA season and there is plenty to talk about!
Not only are the Philadelphia 76ers still dealing with the drama surrounding the future of All-Star Ben Simmons, but the Chicago Bulls are 4-0 for the first time since the 1996-97 season and both of this year’s favorites to win the NBA Finals have struggled early on.
Without Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets have looked out of sorts at times and on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Lakers have not been much better. They may have a ton of past and current All-Star talent on their roster with LeBron, AD, Westbrook, Melo, Jordan, Rondo, and Howard, but this older team has really struggled with their chemistry early on in the year.
Young teams like the Bulls, Hornets, Grizzlies, and Timberwolves have all started the year hot, but should we really read into the first week of the NBA this much? There is still plenty of time for teams to turn things around or even come back down to Earth a little bit, but as for certain players’ performances, some have stood out amongst the rest.
We may just be a couple of games into the new season, but there have been some dazzling breakout performances so far and there are a handful of players making their case for being this year’s Most Improved Player and one rookie is making a very strong case to be the early favorite for Rookie of the Year.
So who are they and what have they done so far this season to gain so much attention? Let’s take a look at the top breakout performers around the league during the first week of the 2021-22 NBA season.
Tyler Herro – Miami Heat
Coming off a year in which he was not terrible, but drew a lot of scrutiny for his play, Tyler Herro entered the 2021-22 season with expectations of being great, even if those around him and in the media did not believe this was possible.
All offseason long, the narrative for Tyler Herro was that he was nothing more than a role player for the Heat and that they should trade him for more value, but the young guard was out to prove all of his haters wrong.
After spending the offseason training and focusing on himself rather than all the distractions around him, Herro looked great in the preseason and has been fantastic for the Heat early on this season.
Miami is 2-1 to begin the new season and in three games off the bench, Tyler Herro has averaged 23.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and has shot 46.6% from the floor, 34.8% from three-point range.
Not having many key scorers off the bench, the Heat have leaned on Tyler Herro to be one of their better offensive talents and he has delivered so far.
The 13th overall pick in 2019 has the most points off the bench out of any players in the league right now and he is not only making his case for Most Improved Player but potentially Sixth-Man of the Year as well!
Darrell Armstrong is the only player in NBA history to ever win both Most Improved Player and Sixth-Man of the Year in the same season, as he did so with the Orlando Magic during the 1998-99 season.
Tyler Herro is looking to join Armstrong and he has given a lot of credit to All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry for his play, speaking very highly of his new veteran early on this season.