Heat notebook

Miami Heat’s Norris Cole says he’ll keep shooting if open

 
 
San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili, right, chases the loose ball against Miami Heat's Norris Cole, left, and Shane Battier, during the second half of Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on June 5, 2014.
San Antonio Spurs' Manu Ginobili, right, chases the loose ball against Miami Heat's Norris Cole, left, and Shane Battier, during the second half of Game 1 of the 2014 NBA Finals at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on June 5, 2014.
Al Diaz / Staff Photo

bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

In light of Mario Chalmers’ uneven play and occasional foul trouble this postseason, the Heat could use a lift from the other half of its point guard duo. But whereas Norris Cole consistently provides energy off the bench, he usually struggles with his shot against the Spurs.

Cole had good looks on three three-point attempts in Game 1 of the NBA Finals but missed all of them on a 1-for-4 night and is now 7 for 26 from the field (27 percent) in eight career Finals games against the Spurs. In his regular-season career against San Antonio, he’s shooting 35.7 percent from the field (15 for 42), including 4 for 13 this season.

“You want to give them a little bit of credit, but [I’ve] missed shots,” he said. “When I get open looks, I’m going to continue to let it fly.”

Cole shook out of a two-month post-All-Star-break funk by making 16 of 30 shots in his first six playoff games. But he’s just 11 for 33 since then.

LEBRON agrees

One day after Dwyane Wade said the Heat should have gone deeper into its bench in Game 1 — when coach Erik Spoelstra used nine players — LeBron James expressed similar sentiments.

“Obviously, we could have used that in Game 1,” James said. “I thought at times maybe Toney [ Douglas], J.J. [ James Jones], U.D. [ Udonis Haslem] could have gotten some minutes. Take the load off some of us. … Spo is going to coach the game the way he sees the game going.”

James, who called for more minutes for Jones earlier in the playoffs, said during an NBA-organized Facebook chat Saturday that Jones is “the most underrated player on our team. He doesn’t get a lot of playing time. I wish he did get a lot more playing time. He’s such a leader. Unbelievable shooter.”

Jones has played just seven minutes since the start of the Eastern Conference finals.

• Also in the Facebook chat, James said of Game 2: “We have to make adjustments. That’s what good teams do. You will see a different team on Sunday.” … James also said in that chat that his rooting interests in football extend to the Dallas Cowboys, Ohio State, Florida State and Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel.

• Asked why he told ESPN’s Michael Wilbon that he’s the easiest target in sports, James said: “Because I’ve been in front of the camera … since I was 15 years old. You guys have seen everything from me, from being an adolescent kid just playing the game because he loves it … to playing as a professional, to succeeding, to falling off the mountain … to going up to the top again.”

THIS AND THAT

Asked why the Heat has been able to win its past 12 playoff games after losses, James said that stems from taking accountability and “not just bypassing the mistakes we had in the previous game.” Added Chris Bosh: “Being in this situation so many times before, it brings out the best. … We’ve run out of excuses.”

• Wade said if the Heat loses Sunday, “I’m sure the series would be over from the [view of the] outside.”

• Though Michael Beasley has played sparingly in the playoffs and wasn’t active for Game 1 of the Finals, Spoelstra said Saturday: “I’ve seen him grow immensely, maturity-wise, on and off the court. It’s been cool to see.”

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