The NBA All-Star weekend just got more Heat heavy in Orlando. Mario Chalmers has been invited and has accepted to join the NBA 3-pt shooting contest during the All-Star festivities in Orlando. Some might be surprised to see Mario Chalmers in the event but the stats this season back it up. Chalmers, to date, ranks 7th in the NBA in 3pt field goals made with 57 made three pointers. Even more impressive is Chalmers has the highest percentage made out of the 27 players that have 120+ attempts beyond the arc so far this season at 46%.
Chalmers has come a long way the past three seasons and it says a lot about his work ethic and adjustments he made to add a consistent three point shot to his arsenal. The 46% he is shooting right now from beyond the three point line is ten percentage points better than his best season when he shot 36% from three during his rookie year. It also gives praise to Erik Spoelstra’s special coaching talent in helping players with their shot, which is what he did a lot of as an assistant under Pat Riley. Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald recently spoke about that exact quality of Spoelstra on his radio show on 790 The Ticket explaining that after every practice last season he would see Spoelstra grab a bag of basketballs and head out to the court with Chalmers to work on his shot. His entrance into this competition is just some of the evidence that their hard work has paid off.
The emergence of Chalmers as a strong shooting threat gives LeBron, Wade and Bosh more room to work in the paint. The Heat are at its best when the Big 3 can attack and get in the paint and the presence of shooters like Miller, Battier, Jones and now Chalmers makes it all the more difficult to clog those driving lanes. When the Big 3 and the shooters are clicking on all cylinders with their defense good luck finding a team in the NBA capable of stopping them.
My prediction for the 3pt contest winner is James Jones despite his lack of playing time. Some of that might be because I’m a die hard UM fan and James Jones is of course representing not only the Miami Heat but the Miami Hurricanes as well.