Heat are looking Ice Cole

It’s not often when somebody snatches a game away from Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, much less a lightly regarded rookie who doesn’t even start. That changed last night in Miami, and maybe we just saw the emergence of an extra advantage this season for the Heat, as if they needed that.

At the very least, Norris Cole made himself a rookie to watch. Actually, he’s the rookie of the moment, thanks to his nine points in the final three minutes, which saved Miami from am embarrassing collapse and produced a 115-107 win over the Celtics. At the end, fans gave him the MVP chant as he shot free throws, which had to make Joel Anthony jealous.

Here at Hang Time, we won’t get into crystal-balling and declare Cole, who finished with 20 points, an outright steal just yet. We might need another five minutes for that. Seriously, the kid’s got guts and a swagger that enabled him to wave off LeBron and Wade in a tight game, against a quality opponent. You don’t see that DNA in many rookies, especially someone who was the seventh point guard taken in the draft.

Here’s coach Erik Spoelstra:

“(He has) earned their respect, even though it’s only been a short period of time because he’s all about the team. We just want to encourage him … and keep his mind free.”

Translation: Wade and Bron trust the guy, maybe more than Mario Chalmers, and we just hope he doesn’t get the big head over this.

LeBron said if this were football, Cole would get the game ball. Here’s more from LeBron:

Cole said: “It was a blast, man. You grow up wishing for moments like that.”

Cole was terrific at Cleveland State, where he nearly averaged 22 points in his final season, along with six rebounds and five assists. He just happened to land in a draft swollen with point guards, led by Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight, guys who played at bigger schools and faced tougher competition. But from the first day of camp, Cole showed Pat Riley that he belonged, and was the revelation of the Heat’s short training camp. He’s got decent quickness, a tight enough dribble and will pull up from 20 feet, as the Celtics learned.

If he keeps this up, Spoelstra has options. He can keep Chalmers in the starting position and use Cole as an energizer off the bench, or make the switch. Either way, Miami apparently has another asset, which is a stroke of good fortune for a team that can’t add another high-priced talent for obvious reason. And the point guard position is in far better hands than last season, when Chalmers and an old Mike Bibby was all Miami had. LeBron and Wade had to assume some of the ball-handling chores, and if Cole’s the real deal then their load gets lighter.

What does this do for the Heat in the big picture? Well, they’re off to an impressive 2-0 start, accomplished over the Mavericks and Celtics. Jim Litke of The Associated Press is impressed.

One thing, though: What’s up with the new pregame video introduction in Miami? And why is Wade looking like the captain from the Love Boat? You be the judge.

26 Comments

  1. china says:

    norris cole reminds me of a poor mans derrick rose.

  2. jll says:

    Do you remember Eddie Houses 30 points in Toronto last match of the past regular season?

    It´s funny to see N Cole in the spotlight only for one good game.

  3. OKC should trade Russell Westbrook. He is a very disgruntled player and will become a distraction to the OKC ball club. The situation between Durant and Westbrook in OKC appears to be similar to K.G. and Marbury in Minnesota years ago. OKC should trade Kendrick Perkins, Westbrook and their 1st round pick this year for Dwight Howard. OKC should act now!

  4. The Heat now is spectacle, showtime. Harlem Globtrotters. They need to focus on wins not on spectacles. If they win for one point is Ok. If they win by 30 is Ok too.

  5. 12 rebound for Udonis Haslem? You can´t forget that. Please give him credit. Ok…he is not an all star but Horace Grant and Bill Cardright weren´t at the all star game on 90´s as well. The same happen with Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace and Robert Horry. Players who make the dirty job and they haven´t been recognized.

  6. The aggressiveness of Nerris Cole to the rim and Mario Chalmers are going to the right path.

  7. You can´t stop Lebron and Wade in transition except you make them fouls before they get the basket.

  8. mattman says:

    norris cole has game..period…for a Heat team that already has all of the right talent in the places this is just an added bonus..at this point, I think Norris needs to start over Chalmers…look for Norris’ numbers to continue to get better..early ROY candidate perhaps?

    http://mindofmattman.blogspot.com/2011/12/rookies-rookies-rookies-are-we-buying.html

  9. Too many technical fouls. D wade awesome (monster) and the rest of team too. But they need to calm down a little bit.

  10. After watch Miami vs Bobcats in Charlotte I realize that the Miami Heat will need to calm down a little bit and get down to hearth because they can not get desperate when the runs came from opponets. 18/4? What´s that? (fourth quarter)

    That´s is the problem for the Heat.

    Miami Heat needs to create plays and moves on the court and they can´t leak out rather stay focus.

    They have to move the ball and when those moments arrives dont lose mind…That´s is the problem for my Miami Heat in my opinion.

    DESPERATION!!!

  11. tom says:

    Seems like the real deal but I think everyone is getting too excited too fast. I understand it was the Celtics but they had no game plan for him and had no idea exactly how to guard him…like for rondo you take a step back because he can’t shoot. And the defense being focused on two other players(Wade and James) and it being a zone defense helped out a lot. All these things combined though would really help someone with a good 20 ft pullup jumper. Just pump fake, if your defender falls for it (because they don’t know how you like to play), take one step in, now because it is a zone defense and the defender fell for the pump fake when you take that step in you’re WIDE open, and like I said if you have a good 20ft pullup you’re going to pick that defense apart…I understand it’s not always that easy but he had a lot of wide open mid-range shots and I’d want to see him get those when a part of the defense’s game plan is to not let Cole get open mid-range jumpers. I’m not trying to hate I’m just trying to be realistic. Personally I have to wait a little further into the season but i was impressed how he preformed in the clutch and he has grabbed my attention as a rookie to watch.

    Moments like this happen more often then people acknowledge. Remember Gains when he was called up to the Jazz. It was a feel good story but everyone was like HOW DID THEY MISS THIS GUYS TALENT OMGGG!!! He had a few good games at first, then defense’s made slight adjustments for him when the jazz came to town and wham-o you have a 9-10th man off the bench.

  12. kaka says:

    cole world

  13. gamezone101 says:

    what a cole game that was…14 pts in the 4th Q….
    when i heard him getting 20+ pts at the scrimmage..
    i say “Oh! man…he will be starting in the heat’s lineup in the FTRE…”

    LIke his game vs kemba walker today…

  14. ismail says:

    He is the future of the heat. After the big three retire r go somewhere else he would be n his prime

  15. CarlosLBJ says:

    Norris Cole STARTING PG for the MIAMI HEAT and ROY

  16. Jeromy says:

    You have to consider Nelson of Orlando Magic as well. Jason Terry. Im not sure if Cole can get too high.

    Jamal Crawford, Terry, Marbury, Price, Paxon, Bj Armstrong, Steve Francis…..

    PLEASE BE PRUDENT ABOUT EXALT TOO MUCH N .COLE!!

    the same with Tyson Chandler…..I´ve heard Chandler MVP. PLease be realistic and dont become exaggerate.

    Can you compare Dirk with Larry Bird?

  17. Jeromy says:

    The most lethal weapon for the heat to knock out its opponents lies in 3 point shooters… Chris Bosh can do that. He can play under the rim but shooting from downtown too like Dirk Nowitzki. He has to take place on this topic.

    JJ too…? JJ can go to basket like # 2 position.

    Both are essentials to achieve championship.

  18. oldiegoldie38 says:

    Yall better get on the COLE………………………. Train!

  19. theking0522 says:

    I don’t know you, Miami fans, but I am excited. This dude can play!!!! He is not afraid of the moment and he is a very good shooter. The two games I have seen him play have been impressive. This guy is willing to gain a spot in the NBA. Is it just me or did we find ourselves a good-talented point guard?

  20. You cant surrender about Cole´s game yet. You have to see him playing during the whole post season. Just watch his game and how it develops along with his teamates…

  21. ephraim says:

    he’s playing great…he could be the steal of the draft if he is playing like that through out the season…i love this guy and i can see d-rose in him…

    goodluck cole…im a fan of yours now…

  22. Cole:

    He is part of the roles players Heat package. As same as Miller, James Jones, Haslem….

    And more… Cole ¡The NEW JASON WILLIAMS 2006 MIAMI HEAT. Jason was in the rotation. Number 6.

  23. drk says:

    he plays like d-rose

  24. HeatWave says:

    I can see him develop into a starting point. I don’t know what’s up with Chalmers but he was playing like he didn’t want to be there last night. The 4 turnovers in under 2 minutes and how do you mess up a lob from inside the pait to Wade?

  25. Martin from Austria says:

    I’m really impressed with this rookie, he looks like the real deal, keep it up, Norris Cole, you made me a fan of you!!!

  26. Good Job Norris Cole. You may single handily change my mind about the heat. Norris reminds me a lot of what i want to be when I’m grown up playing for d-rose and the bulls. A rookie bench player being a spark plug to a big team and changing minds. Good luck Cole. Better watch out for D-ROSE AND THE BULLS!