NBA Playoffs 2013: Bench Players Ready to Break out in Finals

Eric GuyCorrespondent IIIJune 11, 2013

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 06:  Norris Cole #30 of the Miami Heat drives on Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs in the second quarter during Game One of the 2013 NBA Finals at AmericanAirlines Arena on June 6, 2013 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are in for a slugfest throughout the remainder of the 2013 NBA Finals. Although both squads’ Big Threes are capable of bringing about victory, they cannot do it on their own.

Solid play from both benches will play a pivotal role in the outcome of the finals. While every role player will more than likely give a solid contribution during their time on the court, Miami’s Norris Cole and San Antonio’s Gary Neal will explode during the NBA Finals.


Norris Cole

Norris Cole has become a legitimate factor for the Heat. As the NBA Finals progresses, his emergence will only become evermore evident. 

Fellow NBA player Jared Sullinger even praises Cole: 

In 18 games for the Heat this postseason, Cole is averaging 6.7 points per game on 51.7 percent shooting, including a lethal 57.1 percent from downtown.

Cole's shooting prowess has proven to be a spark for the Heat in various games throughout the postseason.

In Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Chicago, Cole poured in a total of 36 points on 13-of-16 shooting. Such performances showed that he is not only an excellent spot-up shooter but that he has the ability to take over stretches in games as well.

The maturity of Norris Cole throughout the postseason has been a sight to see. His ability to complement stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh gives the Heat diversity.

While Mario Chalmers has stepped up thus far in the finals, setting ablaze the flame that is Norris Cole will be crucial for the Heat going forward.


Gary Neal

After having been in and out of head coach Gregg Popovich’s rotation, Garry Neal is primed and ready to show the world what he can do.

Spurs fans know that Neal is capable of dropping 20-plus points in a heartbeat. With Games 3, 4 and 5 taking place in San Antonio, expect the aforementioned to take place.

Due to the inconsistencies of Manu Ginobili, Gary Neal will be expected to take on more responsibility throughout the remainder of the series. With more time available for him, Neal will without a doubt put in work.


Norris Cole and Gary Neal will be key factors in the outcome of the 2013 NBA Finals. Both players have the opportunity of having their names associated amongst NBA Finals greats of years past. Nonetheless, putting in a solid contribution is all anyone can ask of them.

As the series plays out, that is exactly what everyone will be waiting to see.