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Injured Heat guard Tyler Herro won’t return for Game 1 of NBA Finals

Whenever he returns, probably later in the NBA Finals, Tyler Herro will receive a hero’s welcome by the Heat.

But the 2022 Sixth Man of the Year won’t be ready in time for Game 1 against the Nuggets in his attempt to come back from the broken right hand he suffered in the first game of the opening round against the Bucks.

“I’m not a math guy, so I’m not good with percentages. He will not play [Thursday],” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday in Denver. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves right now. He’s still just starting this process. We do have a few days here just to do continuous work.

“I can’t even make any kind of proclamation until he takes these next important steps, and that’s with contact and doing things more on the court live. We’ll just see. We’re all encouraged by his progress that he’s made, but we want to continue to be responsible and make the best decisions. He’s not there yet.”

Herro, who hasn’t played since April 16, hoisted shots during practice Wednesday and is targeting his return for when the series shifts back to Miami for Game 3 next Wednesday, according to reports.

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He averaged 20.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in the regular season, while leading the league with a 93.4 free-throw percentage.

The Heat have shot an NBA-best 39.0 percent from 3-point range through 18 postseason games.

They finished the regular season 27th in the league at 34.4 percent, with Herro connecting for a team-best .378 3-point percentage.

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The duo of Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin have combined to bury 44.2 percent from long distance during the postseason, essentially a 10-point improvement (34.3 percent) from the regular season.

Jimmy Butler gave a fitting answer when asked about being the Heat’s “head of the snake” and getting his teammates to believe:

“I’m never rattled,” Butler replied. “Very calm, very consistent in everything I do. When my guys look at that, they follow suit in every way, and I love that about them. They’re never shook. We enjoy when each other plays well. We’re never going to get rattled.”

Nikola Jokic on the Nuggets being considered the favorites in the series: “I think we are not the favorite. I think in the Finals there is no favorites. This is going to be the hardest games of our life, and we know that. We are prepared for that.”