The Miami Heat have weapons at every position. That’s a good problem to have, especially in today’s league. But the question that has been on my mind here lately is who should start at point guard? Mario Chalmers is currently and consistently the starting floor general. Who exactly is Mario Chalmers? Why should he be the starter?
Well if you’re a fan of basketball in general, you probably know who Mario Chalmers is. His alma mater is Kansas where he led the Jayhawks to a national championship back in 2008 by hitting a clutch three pointer to send the Jayhawks into overtime against Derrick Rose and the Memphis Tigers. Chalmers is the player who missed a game winner against the Portland Trailblazers almost a year ago then came back the next game and made ten three pointers against the Sacramento Kings. He tied the Heat’s franchise record with that performance, joining Brian Shaw who set the record in 1993.
Chalmers is a good player and has proved himself thus far to be a role player for the Miami Heat. He’s been in the league for five years now, so he has more experience than Norris Cole, who is entering into his second season. Chalmers came from a prestigious college compared to Cole coming from Cleveland State. They both are 6-foot-2 in height but Chalmers outweighs Cole 190 to 175.
When I look at it, it doesn’t matter how big you are or what college you played for. You don’t have to be a certain size or play for a certain top school to be successful in the NBA. Chalmers has the experience factor over Cole, I’ll give him that, but when it comes to everything else, it’s fairly even. I believe Cole could possibly start over Chalmers if he continues to get better and make better decisions. Let’s compare their stats for this season.
So far Chalmers is averaging 27 minutes per game compared to Cole averaging 24 minutes. Chalmers is shooting 42 percent from the field compared to Cole shooting 43 percent. Cole is shooting 45 percent beyond the arc compared to Chalmers shooting 41 percent. They both are shooting 75 percent from the free throw line. Chalmers is averaging 5.1 assists compared to Cole averaging 3.2. Chalmers has more turnovers with an average of 2.1 compared to Cole’s 1.4. When it comes to points, Cole is averaging six points a game while Chalmers is averaging nine.
Overall, these two are very similar on paper.
What should a point guard be really good at? I believe making good decisions with the ball is the first and that’s not making a lot of turnovers along with having a lot of assists. Chalmers, earlier in his career was known for making bad mistakes and committing a lot of turnovers, and he’s gotten better by minimizing those mistakes. Cole doesn’t commit a lot of turnovers but he tends to make bad decisions on shots.
As of now I would say Chalmers has the edge over Cole. With Chalmers’ experience, ability to score and assist consistently gives him the edge.
But what I like about Cole is the energy he brings to the game. If he never becomes a starter for the Heat he’ll continue to be a good backup when Chalmers needs a rest. The Heat don’t need a point guard that scores a lot of points; that’s what they have LeBron James for. They need a point guard that will set up the offense correctly, make good decisions, and overall be a good floor general. Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers can play that role. They have the ability to not only play that role, but to score a good amount of points if needed.
So who should be the starter? Mario Chalmers should but Cole might get his chance sooner or later. The Heat is currently on a two game losing streak after winning nine straight. Let’s see if they can regroup as they play the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight.
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