It has been quite difficult watching Norris Cole play for the Miami Heat lately. The young, promising point guard has hit a brick wall in terms of his production, and because of this, he has seen his average minutes slowly slipping away. The lack of consistency has been the biggest issue for Cole, especially over the last five games where he has shot just 34 percent from the field and 30 percent from the beyond the arc. With the Heat already limited in terms of backcourt depth, Cole’s recent string of bad games has really hurt his team’s second unit productivity.
Cole’s play has been marginal at best, mostly due to the rotation and minute changes coach Erik Spoelstra has implemented. The biggest shift recently has been the additional minutes Dwyane Wade has taken on since retuning stronger than ever from his knee issue. This new and improved Wade has garnered so many minutes from the rotation it has left other guards like Cole searching for more playing time. The lack of a consistent spot in the rotation is what is causing Cole’s sudden dip in productivity.
Cole has averaged almost 25 minutes a game this season, but over this last five-game stretch, he has averaged just 19 minutes. That is a big difference in playing time, one that would affect nearly every player in the league in terms of efficiency. If the Heat want Cole playing at a high level again, Spoelstra will need to figure out how to give him more consistent minutes off the bench. That is the only way to bring this young, promising guard out of his slump; otherwise the second unit will continue to struggle.