Off to a franchise-record 5-0 start, the Heat have exploded out of the gates with their fast-paced, league-leading 109.6 ppg offense. In addition to LeBron, Wade and Bosh, opposing defenders have a new headache on their hands in rising rookie star Norris Cole.
Originally drafted 28th overall by the Bulls in 2011, the Heat eventually acquired rights to the rapidly improving 6′ 2″ point guard through a trade with the Timberwolves. The four-year graduate from Cleveland State was the first player in history to be named both Horizon League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, in addition to earning an AP All-America Honorable Mention.
Cole has been equally impressive so far in his NBA debut, bringing energy, toughness and productivity to the Miami Heat roster. In the Heat’s home opener against the Celtics, Cole outscored all of his teammates (20 ppg) and racked up nine consecutive points in the final three minutes of the game to cement their 115-107 victory.
Cole has already moved into the Heat’s rotation and will be sharing minutes with Mario Chalmers. He’s averaging 12 points and 3.6 assists in 23.8 minutes, and he’ll also grab you a couple steals and rebounds.
Miami’s been looking for a point guard of the future, so now they have two candidates in Chalmers and Cole. Cole and the Heat will look to continue their hot streaks when they host the Hawks at AmericanAirlines Arena tonight at 7:30 PM ET.