While it hasn’t been officially announced, it seems all but certain that Norris Cole will begin the NBA’s 2014-15 season as the Miami Heat’s starting point guard.
Cole started in each of Miami’s final seven preseason game and Mario Chalmers, the Heat’s starting point guard for the last three seasons, has been used as a reserve shooting guard behind Dwyane Wade.
I understand why the Heat are making such a move, but I’m not so sure it has much to do with Cole.
Miami severely lacks skilled traditional shooting guards behind Wade. Before this Chalmers experiment, Shannon Brown was poised to begin the year as the Heat’s backup shooting guard.
Miami can’t have Brown playing significant minutes — he’s a below-average player — so moving Chalmers over to the 2 gives the Heat some much-needed talent at the position.
But that leaves a problem at point guard. Norris Cole isn’t ready to start on this team. Without a consistent jumper or great distributing skills, he remains more of an offensive liability than he does an asset.
Cole can defend and that shouldn’t be ignored, but Miami surely would prefer starting a more offensively skilled point guard.
For all the criticism that’s been leveled at Chalmers in recent years, he remains a better point guard than Cole.
I can’t fault the Heat too much for making this move, given their glaring weakness at shooting guard. But I just don’t think this new plan is going to be a success for Miami.
The team would been have much better served investing more in a backup shooting guard in the offseason. They didn’t and now their former starting point guard is a reserve shooting guard.
This is a move one could say the Heat had to make at this point, but they could have easily prevented putting themselves in such a position months ago.