Norris Cole Will Take the Starting Role from Mario Chalmers on the Miami Heat

Ronnie CollinsContributor IIIDecember 28, 2011

“Erik Spoelstra has a new toy to play with,” so said Steve Kerr as the final seconds dwindled from the latest Miami Heat victory over the Boston Celtics.

Much to the surprise of the home-court fans and many of us who stood with question marks hovering over our heads. Who in the world was the kid wearing No. 30 for the Heat?

That kid or young man was Norris Cole; he played his college ball at Cleveland State. Cole closed out his college career a season ago, posting nearly 22 points per contest.

What Cole has infused in an already star-studded lineup is the much-desired athleticism and self-confidence that has been missing from the position since, since a long time ago.

What does this mean to the current point guard and typically consistent Mario Chalmers? I dare to say the humbling obvious—a different role that begins the game with a warm-up draped over both shoulders.

As the Celtics mounted their comeback behind a strong zone that slowed the buzzing Heat onslaught of baskets, the rookie showed up.

Cole stepped into several jump shots; fully believing those shots would fall. Regardless of the outcome, he took shots under pressure and did it with supreme confidence. That was new to the courtside onlookers.

It's difficult to teach poise, and it's even harder to teach confidence. These things Chalmers struggles with from time to time—or big game to big game.

The Heat went through a multitude of lead guards a season ago, hunting for a stable figure that could stick the jump shot when it was presented. Moreover, they needed a guard that could provide more than a speed bump for the better lead guards across the Association.

While Chalmers is a good open shooter, he's not the guy who can make the likes of Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook or Deron Williams work aggressively on the opposite end of the court.

It's early, but it appears Cole has the athleticism and overall game to accomplish this task.

Adding a point guard that provides both a penetrating and deep-shooting threat would be a welcome surprise to a team that had effectively given up the search to fill that void.

It's widely known that closing the game with a big guard lineup that included Mike Miller was the fancy of the Hall of Fame roster architect.

As for Chalmers, he's a solid player that still will contribute to the overall success of this season. With that stated, Cole logged 29 minutes against the Celtics, adding 14 points in the final quarter of what appeared to be a Heat collapse of 2010 proportions.

Only time can give the answers to the questions that will flood sports talk radio stations in Miami in the coming weeks.