Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers has struggled with consistency so far this season. The five-year veteran's scoring is down, and his defense has been called into question by coach Erik Spoelstra. Although Chalmers continues to start at point guard, Spoelstra has recently elected to play second-year point guard Norris Cole in the fourth quarter of close games. Cole is not considered to be as good a shooter, but he offers much better defense.
Part of Chalmers' recent slump can be attributed to a torn tendon in his left ring finger, which occurred against the Washington Wizards Dec. 4. Chalmers says he is still recovering from this injury.
While Cole has seen a substantial increase in playing time lately, the goal is not for him to replace Chalmers. According to forward LeBron James,
"We need both of them to play well at the same time for us to win. Ultimately, we can't have one struggling and one playing well. We need both to play well at the same time. When they complement each other, it's better for our team."
For now, Spoelstra will continue to favor the hotter player. Like James, Spoelstra would like to see both Chalmers and Cole playing their best.