Why Norris Cole Will Eventually Replace Mario Chalmers in Miami Heat Starting Lineup
The Miami Heat have one of the deepest rosters in the NBA; this is more of a statement than a question. With multiple first-round picks and All-Stars sharing the same roster, the Heat have the luxury of rotating players in and out of the starting lineup in order to get a gauge for which lineup is the most effective.
Recently, Mario Chalmers has been out with an Achilles injury which has led to Norris Cole taking over the starting point guard position in the meantime. Cole might not know it yet, but his drastically improved play might be enough to knock Chalmers out of the starting lineup. In his time starting this season, Cole is averaging 10.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 0.86 steals. Outside of rebounding (Chalmers has the advantage due to height), Cole is averaging higher numbers than Chalmers in every other statistical category.
The biggest difference between the two young guards is the field goal percentage. With the experience that Chalmers has over Cole in the league, you would think the Chalmers would be shooting at a higher mark — but he isn’t. Chalmers is shooting just 44 percent from the field this season on average, and Cole is shooting 48 percent. The four-percent difference might not seem like much, but considering Cole shot just 41 percent the season before, this is a huge leap for the third-year guard.
Cole brings a level of tenacity and aggression to the Heat that would be extremely beneficial if inserted into the starting lineup. When Chalmers comes back from his Achilles injury he will undoubtedly become the starter again over Cole, but if the Heat continue to lose games, don’t be surprised if coach Erik Spoelstra shakes up the starting lineup and Cole is the starting point guard.