According to an article on ESPN.COM Darren Rovell reports that the NBA is...
Miami Heat Rookie Norris Cole Could Snatch Mario Chalmers’ Starting Job
Did you see what I saw? In the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, there was a clutch gene exposed in the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics game that did not include the efforts of players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or the illustrious three-balling Ray Allen. There was a Norris Cole sighting in South Beach and no one was putting a stop to the 14-point fourth quarter the rookie put on against Boston’s withering defense.
The Celtics always have a chance. They are the Celtics.
With veteran leadership that most franchises lack, in such a shortened and timely-fashioned season, Boston can always exploit the lack of experience another squad has. But, there was something eerily similar about Tuesday night to the loss the Celtics were force to bear in the face of the new-look Knicks.
Without Paul Pierce on the court, the team just cannot defend enough to refuse an offensive surge from their opponents. They cannot outscore another team either.
Miami is still Miami. They are athletically the most apt franchise in the league. Their chemistry is relieving most of their Eastern conference foes of their chances to head to the 2012 NBA Finals and they have actual bench depth. This was a huge reason as to why everyone doubted their ability to survive long-term. Now that this issue has been resolved with additions like Shane Battier, the Heat stand as true contenders in one of the most open seasons the league has ever seen.
Then there was Cole.
Things like this usually do not last, so be very careful in guiding him into your rookie of the year conversation. However, to stand out against three Miami Heat all-stars in clutch time against your greatest rival in the East means that all recognition is granted until Cole proves fans otherwise. For right now, bandwagon fans and fans pre-2006, rejoice in the fact that he scored 14 of Miami’s 24 fourth quarter points (eventually outscoring Miami’s third wheel, Chris Bosh).
Coach Erik Spoelstra has found something in Cole that fits in perfectly with the speedy transition andswift decision-making skills that were already profound in the 2011 season. Now, the combination is less artificial and more court-prepared than any Boston, NY or Chicago fan probably wants to see.
Cole isolated himself in NBA chatter as one of the standing trending topics of the night and Coach “Spo” had to take notice, as well as starting guard Mario Chalmers.
Chalmers propelled himself last season with his postseason surge that made Miami’s sporadic plays on the move seem much more calculated and without LeBron playing the point more than concentrating on his own offense. He was quick, appeared to have all the potential in the world and was the best viable option Miami had at the moment.
All of that has seemed to change and Cole seems to be climbing to the top of the food chain.
Not to mention, Chalmers was sloppy and unkempt against a shaky Boston defense, something that may only force Coach Spoelstra’s hand for the matchup against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Norris Cole showed exuberance, youth, intelligence and excellent timing against Boston. Does he have a hell of a lot more to learn about the game? He sure does! But, showing off when his team’s second win of the season depended on it makes for a heck of a resume. Short, but sweet, Cole’s time in Miami has already become mesmerizing.
Miami Heat is complete and Cole has infiltrated a vital fraction of their success. Rookie of the year candidate?
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