Trust Is Key For HEAT

Norris Cole
The HEAT's trust in Norris Cole propelled them to a Game 2 victory over the Indiana Pacers
Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler

Trust.

It’s something you must have in order to succeed no matter what avenue of life. Whether it be in your family life, the workplace, or anywhere in-between, trust is vital.

And when you have trust, that usually means you have open communication. It’s that kind of open communication that allows the HEAT to succeed with in-game adjustments on the fly.

“They want to make a change, I’m fine with it as long as it’s not something crazy,” Erik Spoelstra said. “And I’m always fine with looking at something for a possession if they feel comfortable with it and [if we] need to make a change from there, we will. But those guys have a feel for what’s going on the court even moreso than us because they’re out there experiencing it.”

One such adjustment that played a factor in Game 2 was having Norris Cole guard Lance Stephenson after he had gotten off to a blazing-hot start. With Paul George and David West struggling, Stephenson took control of the offense and hit tough shot after tough shot. Shortly after Game 2, it was revealed that LeBron James was the one to suggest the change.

“Spo has allowed me, obviously [Dwyane] Wade and UD who have been here 10-plus years to make adjustments in game that we feel is best for the team,” James said after practice on Thursday. “It’s really important. We’re the guys on the court that’s playing and you have a coach that trusts you to make adjustments.”

With Cole primarily guarding him in the fourth quarter, Stephenson scored just two points on three shot attempts and had two assists. This after scoring 23 points and dishing out five assists in the first three quarters. Cole was able to contain Stephenson thanks to his excellent lateral movement despite being at a size disadvantage.

“Norris is a very good defender,” Chris Bosh said. “He does a great job of keeping his chest in front, he’s extremely tough to go by and he’s learned how to play solid defense without fouling.”

This wasn’t the first nor will it be the last time trust plays a factor in changing a game for the HEAT. Without it, Wade knows Miami wouldn’t be as successful.

“We wouldn’t be champions if we didn’t have [trust],” Wade said. “We wouldn’t be the team that we are today if we didn’t have the trust from both sides. To understand that we don’t have all answers, they don’t have all answers; we’re figuring it all out together.”