The Miami Heat’s Other One-Two Punch
It’s not often that little brothers receive the credit that they deserve. Especially when they have four future Hall of Fame big brothers and a few mean mugging championship holding older siblings.
And in the case of Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole things have been no different. In fact, neither player has really gotten any credit. Instead, they have been the butt of everyone’s jokes — to the point where even when they were making the right plays, they were wrong.
We’ve all seen it showcased in everything from YouTube videos of the two being scolded by the Big Three to media pundits writing them off as the team’s weakest links.
However, this year, things changed and Cole and Chalmers have been the closest thing to consistent for the Miami Heat.
Through four games, Chalmers has stayed well above the 50 percent mark (59 percent) from the three-point arc. He’s steadily knocking down shots with ease while being aggressive on his drives to the hole. But where he’s really excelled is in his ability to step up as a defender.
It started in the season opener when he picked Derrick Rose’s pocket with the precision of a master thief. Five steals later made it a staple. Now Chalmers is tied for No. 2 in takeaways (3.3 per game) with rookie Michael Carter-Williams and NBA vet Chris Paul.
Maybe not so coincidentally, Cole’s confidence also rose against the player that Stephen A. Smith predicted would win MVP.
Ever since Cole rocked Rose right and left him stumbling over Chris Andersen’s leg, he’s been on a mission to make people forget those times when he would look away a Hall of Famer or zoom pass a Heatle for a one on three failure of a fast break.
Those plays probably helped preseason trade rumors appear, but the comfort of a contract extension has him playing at such ease that he began to slow down, move the ball and get it back for open shots — which he’s knocking down at a 59 percent clip.
Add that to his seven rebounds and five assists games and it’s no wonder why Erik Spoelstra has taken to occasionally playing both of his point guards at the same time.
“We attack different ways,” Cole said via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “My game is built more on speed, quickness and explosiveness. [Chalmers] is a shooter and has great touch on his shot. He plays the passing lanes with his long arms. We’re different but as long as we’re productive, that’s all that counts. I think we complement each other well.”
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