Breaking Down the Miami Heat’s Point Guard Position
Although the point guard position isn’t the strongest of the five in the starting lineup, both Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole have done an admirable job of raising the levels of their respective games year after year. To play point guard for the Miami Heat requires a completely different skill set than most other teams require of their point guards. You are expected to become an excellent spot up shooter, especially with the amount of open looks you would receive from the attention both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade demand from the defense while on the court. On top of being able to maintain a high field goal percentage, as the starting point guard, you are also expected to have a moderately high three point shooting percentage. This is also due to the amount of open shots from beyond the arc you will receive via the Big Three being on the court.
Chalmers averaged 8.6 ppg, 3.5 apg, and 1.5 spg last season for the Heat, some of the highest averages of his career. The most impressive statistic comes from his three point shooting percentage, which jumped from 38 percent in 2011 to 41 percent in 2012. With three point shooting being such a premium for the Heat, these are numbers the organization must be brimming about. With his PER climbing year after year (currently at 13.29) since he joined the league, there is no reason to doubt that Chalmers’ productivity will only rise.
Since being drafted by the Heat in 2011, Cole has shown tons of potential and growth. Cole has improved statistically in every category over the last two seasons and even led the Heat in three point shooting percentage over the course of the 2012 NBA Playoffs with 53 percent from beyond the arc. On top of becoming a deadlier shooter, Cole’s on-ball defense has become outstanding. One could argue that Cole plays better defense than Chalmers when it comes to stopping some of the quicker point guards in the league.
Overall, both guards have shown tons of growth, and both players haven’t even entered their respective primes yet. This could be a huge selling point next offseason for Heat management when they are trying to woo LeBron James. As a franchise, you have to look at the longevity of a situation, and the Heat’s point guard position is looking like it will continue to be dominant for years to come.
Jared Doyle is a Miami Heat writer for RantSports.com.
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