Nobody goes home raving about riding the teacups. Instead, you're telling your friends about Space Mountain or Splash Mountain, describing the twists and drops when your heart raced and your palms went sweaty.
It's fitting that the NBA Finals are taking place less than two miles from Disney World. At a time when most of us can't or aren't willing to go to an actual amusement park, all we have to do is watch Tyler Herro play basketball to ride the most thrilling roller coaster in the league.
In the NBA restart, the baby-faced, 20-year-old Miami Heat rookie has shot, dribbled and snarled his way into the national spotlight, most recently in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. After a promising rookie season in which he averaged 13.5 points and 4.1 rebounds on 38.9 percent 3-point shooting, Herro has gone from a nice rotation piece to an essential cog in the Heat's offensive attack this postseason. He's scored in double-figures in all 19 of his postseason games, and planted his flag in the terrain of budding NBA stars with a 37-point gem in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics. He's averaging 16.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in his first playoff run, and has already set the NBA record for most 3-pointers made by a rookie in a single postseason.
Herro has the swagger. He has the look. And he has the game to back it up.
"He's going to continue to get better," Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler said of Herro. "Obviously, he's a rookie, but I tell you, whenever he's out there on the floor, the swag that he plays with, the moves that he makes, you'd think he's been in the league for 10-plus."
But for every jaw-dropping playoff moment that Herro has produced, there's a confoundingly frustrating instance of equal measure. Herro sometimes takes shots that make you wonder if he even sees the defenders, and when he makes them it's breathtaking. When he misses them, however, you're left shaking your head in disbelief.
Never was this phenomenon on better display than in the Heat's 102-96 Game 4 loss to the Lakers on Tuesday night. Overall Herro played well, as he has since joining the starting lineup in place of the injured Goran Dragic in Game 2, but his great plays were offset by numerous head-scratchers.
Buckle up, and please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times.
Herro's first points of the game came on this beautiful one-handed, lefty reverse layup after blowing by Anthony Davis on the baseline. The level of difficulty of this shot is off the charts, having to manipulate the ball with his off-hand and put the perfect English on it, all while making sure he doesn't get stuffed by arguably the best rim protector in the NBA.
Just minutes later, however, we see the opposite side of that coin. Herro gets out in transition and tries a similar tactic against Davis, this time using just his right hand, and it ... doesn't go quite as well.
Herro's shot selection must be maddening at times for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Watch here as he pulls up for a 3-pointer on a 1-on-2 fast break (which isn't a thing), with 21 seconds on the shot clock and all of his teammates behind him, including two still in the backcourt.
"He has a confidence. He has a fearlessness that is uncommon," Spoelstra said of his basketball prodigy. "But he's humble enough to work, to be coachable, to take the mentorship from the veteran players that we have on our team, and he just continues to gain more confidence as we go."
Herro's confidence allows him to make shots that others might not even consider shooting. He's has made 9-of-15 field goals and gone 4-for-4 on 3-pointers with a "very tight" defender within 0-2 feet, according to NBA.com. That 60 percent field goal mark puts him second behind James Harden among guards with at least 15 such attempts in the postseason. We saw a perfect example in a four-point game in the fourth quarter of Game 4, when Herro sniffed out the most minuscule fraction of air space and launched a rainbow 3-pointer over LeBron James, hitting absolutely nothing but net.
Look at how close LeBron was to blocking this and potentially creating a fast break opportunity for the Lakers at a crucial juncture of the game.
And then of course there was this absolute ridiculousness -- a "floater" over Davis that nearly went into orbit before returning to the Earth's atmosphere and rattling through the rim.
In a three-point game in the fourth quarter, Herro tried a similar shot over a much smaller target, Alex Caruso, but took an extra step and was called for traveling. Up and down we go.
As is so often the case with talented young players, Herro is clearly still figuring out how to best harness all of his ability. He takes difficult shots because he knows he can make difficult shots, and Spoelstra has continually raved about Herro's ability to create late-clock offense out of nothing -- a particularly necessary skill against playoff defenses. As he begins to eliminate some of the rookie mistakes, Herro's ceiling will only continue to rise. And we'll be entertained every step of the way.
"Tyler's got to be Tyler. At the end of the day, we don't want him to be anything different than what he wants to be as a player in this league," Heat forward Bam Adebayo said. "So he's got to score the ball, he got to make passes and we expect that from him. He is what, 19, 20? 20. He's a rookie in The Finals, so it's fast paced, he's trying to figure it out and I feel like he's figuring it out and he's getting better."