After six seasons running the point, Mario Chalmers could find himself playing a different position with the Miami Heat next season. According to Pat Riley, the Heat are looking at playing the incumbent point guard at shooting guard.
“We like him. Mario’s a big-game player. I think he learned probably more than ever in this [NBA Finals] series that you can never take anything for granted at this level. . . . We’re looking at Mario differently now, with this roster. He’s a point guard for us, but we’re also looking at him as a two.”
I actually love this idea.
The Heat are already crowded at point guard, having acquired Shabazz Napier in the NBA Draft. Riley said James’ known appreciation for Napier didn’t play a part in drafting him, but that Chalmers’ status as a free agent did. “We were not sure at that time, knowing Mario was going to be a free agent, not knowing if we could sign him back.”
Even though the Heat want to win now, developing Napier and Norris Cole will be key to the team’s future. Playing Chalmers at the 2 sometimes will help give more minutes for Cole and Napier.
Chalmers struggled to consistently facilitate last season, but he put up the best three-point shooting percentage on the team. Having him at shooting guard will certainly help spread the floor.
Don’t think that playing Rio at the 2 is exclusive to lineups involving Cole or Napier. If Miami is struggling to spread the floor, Dwyane Wade could be given point guard duties and Chalmers can play shooting guard in certain situations.
Often struggling to stay in front of opposing ball handlers last season, Chalmers could benefit from defending 2-guards instead.
Chalmers re-signed with the Heat on a two-year, $8.3 million deal.