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Heat’s Norris Cole willing to wait for individual accolades
TORONTO – Norris Cole had sort of a boost to start his rookie season.
He caught everyone’s attention by scoring 20 points against the Boston Celtics in just his second career game. It kept Cole on the radar, making him an easy choice for the Rising Stars Challenge.
Cole found out this season it was tougher to sustain the spotlight when he wasn’t selected for a second straight year.
He’s fine with the omission long as he continues to help the Heat toward winning another NBA title.
“The numbers say I shouldn’t be there compared to the guys who are there,” Cole said. “Of course, I wanted to be there. I feel like I’m just as good or better than some of the guys there. We have team goals here and our goals are to win championships. If I have to sacrifice not getting as many opportunities they are getting as starters for a team with not as good of a record, I’m willing to make it.”
Cole’s numbers have dipped during his sophomore season, averaging 4.7 points and 1.7 assists in 41 games.
It’s not to say he hasn’t improved. His turnovers are down, showing he is playing more under control. It was one of his problem areas from a year ago.
He’s also proven he can be counted on as a defender.
“I think I’ve improved a lot defensively,” Cole said.
“I’m more of a lockdown defender. The game has slowed down for me offensively. I haven’t put up as many big scoring games as I did at this time last year but I think my consistency of being a floor general and understanding spacing is a lot better.”
By Shandel Richardson