Mario Chalmers Is Primed For a Breakout Season

3 of 5

Mar 14, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers (15) loses control of the ball as Denver Nuggets forward

Kenneth Faried

(35) defends during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Shot Selection

This risky approach extends to Chalmers’ shooting as well. In a lot of ways, Chalmers is an analytic dream come true, as evidenced by this shot chart of last season (courtesy of Nylon Calculus, developed by @AustinClemens):

He has virtually eliminated the mid-range shot attempt, focusing rather on open 3-pointers and shots around the rim. And while he excels from the corner 3 and is generally dependable from everywhere around the arc, it’s his shooting in the painted area this is most disturbing.

Here’s video evidence of the Chalmers Effect impacting his shot selection in the paint. First, a made shot in Game 4 of the 2012 NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder:

Then, a missed shot in a regular season game against the Utah Jazz:

The first demonstrates Rio’s surprising speed, getting past OKC’s Russell Westbrook, then his daring putting up a shot over Serge Ibaka, one of the best shot blockers in the NBA.

The second, in a fast-break opportunity, shows Chalmers taking a rushed layup over Gordon Hayward (not known as a defensive stalwart) which he misses.

This is Chalmers in microcosm – able to hit the big shot but sometimes can’t make the most basic play to succeed.