With Mario Chalmers cemented in as the Miami Heat’s starting point guard, and Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen healthy heading into the postseason, the assumption was that there would not be enough minutes to distribute to both Norris Cole and Toney Douglas.
But coach Erik Spoelstra is hinting otherwise.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Coach Spo isn’t worried about Cole’s recent struggles. He says he is confident Cole will find a way to make an impact as he always does in the playoffs.
“That you can’t teach. When the lights are on and the brightest, he’s shown up in big moments. And he’s shown up when he hasn’t played or he’s gone through some tough things. That is really hard to do in this league. He has some toughness inside of him.”
Cole’s Pre-All Star Break Averages: 44.7 FG%, 38.3 3FG% 2.3 REB, 3.2 AST, 7.6 PTS
Cole’s Post-All Star Break Averages: 34.3 FG%, 27.1 3FG% 1.4 REB, 2.7 AST, 4.4 PTS
So there’s that. And then there is this: Spoelstra told the Miami Herald that he expects Douglas to contribute.
“We expect him to help us,” Spoelstra said of Douglas’ potential playoff role. “We like what he brings, his defensive tenacity, the way he hawks the ball, his ability to alter entry passes.”
While Douglas has been used more at the 2 recently, that still means the Heat expect to use five guards in the playoffs.
Teams tend to use about nine-10 players in the postseason rotation, meaning that after LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen. the Heat have one more opening.
Shane Battier? Rashard Lewis? James Jones? Michael Beasley? Greg Oden?
They will all have to fight for some playing time.