May 15, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat point guard Norris Cole (30) reacts during the second half against the Chicago Bulls in game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Miami Heat won 94-91. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat: Who is Norris Cole?

MIAMI — In case you haven’t realized, Norris Cole is making a significant impact on this extremely, talented star-driven Miami Heat team.

Cole, AKA the Little Nate Stopper, held Robinson to 8 of 23 shooting in Games 2 & 3 after he erupted for 27 points in Game 1. Cole has natural speed and quickness, allow him to constantly stay in front of the small quick offensive player.

Cole also has improved his shooting as of late.  He shot 20-for-29 from the field in the Chicago Bulls series and 9-for-11 from three point range.  He credits this imporvement to longer shooting work-outs with his personal shooting coach, Sedric Toney. During these sessions Cole sinks 10 shots from the same spot before moving to another spot. He does this routine for hours and if you’ve seen him  play recently, you can see how much the hard work has paid off.

Still, who is Norris Cole?

Norris Cole was a star at Dunbar High School, in Dayton, Ohio, and lead his high school to two consecutive state championships as a junior and a senior.

After graduating high school, Cole was actually going to play football at a local private university, but Cleveland State basketball coach, Gary Waters, offered him a scholarship.  In his first year (2007-2008) Cole only averaged 4.9 points per game in limited playing time. Cole improved drastically during his four year tenure, and in his senior season he averaged 21.7 points per game (11th in the Division I Men’s Basketball).

Cole entered the 2011 NBA Draft and was taken in the late first round with the 28th pick by the Chicago Bulls (the irony).  However, later during draft night, Norris Cole was traded to the Miami Heat on draft night.  (Actually, he was first traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and then to the Heat).  As a rookie, Cole averaged 16.8 points, 6.8 assists, 1.4 steals per 48 minutes and was a member of the 2012 Miami Heat Championship Team.

My two favorite Norris Cole plays this season: Cole stripping Kyrie Irving at end of game & his left-handed slam over the entire Chicago Bulls team in Game 5.

You can check them out below:

 

Eric N. Ellington covers the Miami Heat for Fansided.com. You can follow him @EricNEllington

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