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Norris Cole's Offseason to-Do List for Maximizing Potential with the Miami Heat

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Norris Cole's Offseason to-Do List for Maximizing Potential with the Miami Heat
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Norris Cole may very well be the point guard of the future for the Miami Heat organization.

Cole is quick, a good defender and seems to have a solid overall grasp of the game on both ends of the floor. And with current starter Mario Chalmers’ future with the team in question, many believe Cole could eventually end up being the Heat's starting point guard down the road.

However, that’s not to say there’s not still work to do for Miami’s smaller but speedy point guard. Cole has plenty of room to grow as a basketball player, and there are a couple of points he’ll want to focus on in order to maximize his potential with the Heat.

 

Find a mentor

USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James and Norris Cole celebrate during the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

If he hasn’t already, Cole should reach out to an older veteran for tips on how he can continue to improve on the court.

His best option for a mentor could very well be right in front of him. LeBron James, who could arguably be the best point guard in the league if he played the position full time, has come to appreciate helping the younger talents in the league grow as basketball players.

Last summer, James worked with Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. He’s taken numerous other players under his wing throughout his time in the league, including Chalmers since he arrived in Miami three summers ago.

Regardless of whether it’s James or someone else, the fingerprint of a seasoned veteran would undoubtedly reap positive benefits in Cole’s development.

 

Improve at the charity stripe

The free-throw line is arguably the weakest part of Cole’s game. He’s only shooting 72 percent from the line thus far in his career.

In his rookie season, Cole shot an admirable 78 percent at the charity stripe, but that percentage declined sharply this past season. He only connected on 65 percent of his shots at the line.

Cole has improved slightly in the postseason, hitting 74 percent of his free throws to date. However, Miami would like for him to eventually get up around 80 percent, as Chalmers isespecially if Cole is, in fact, being groomed to be the Heat’s next starting point guard.

 

Work on his jump shot

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Cole has worked to improve his range since coming into the league.

To preface this point, Cole is by no means a poor jump shooter. If anything, it appears as though he’s getting closer and closer to becoming a reliable threat from mid-range and even beyond the arc.  

Cole improved his field-goal percentage in his second year with Miami, raising it from 39 percent to 42 percent. His biggest strides were made from three, where he improved 28 percent to 36 percent.

The more consistent Cole’s jumper becomes, the more of a weapon he becomes for the Heat. With his ability to get to the rim, a reliable jumper would give Cole the ability to really open up Miami's offense as a facilitator when he's on the floor.

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