Mario Chalmers Is Primed For a Breakout Season

5 of 5

Jun 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers (left) and

Norris Cole

(right) during practice at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Put Him in a Position to Succeed

No less an expert than Riley, a man who brought out the best in arguably the finest point guard in NBA history, recognizes the importance of Chalmers to the Miami Heat. In a press conference that took place on Wednesday, Riley had this to say about Rio to the Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman,

"“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.”"

As astute a judge of personnel as Riley seems to understand the need for Chalmers’ continued psychological development. But his statement also indicates that for Mario, there’s another level that his actual play can reach. And Riley, Spoelstra and the front office seem determined to find what works best for the veteran guard.

"“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.”"

Using Chalmers as an off-guard (with Cole handling the ball) was used sparingly last season, and not with great success. But perhaps the addition of Josh McRoberts, a solid passer that can move the ball fluidly, will improve this potential lineup. McRoberts is most effective at the top of the key, able to hit cutters (like Wade and new Heat forward Luol Deng) as well as shooters in the corners. Both Chalmers and Cole were above-average from this spot on the floor.

There is still a long time before we’ll see how these changes can benefit Chalmers. But the most encouraging aspect is that the team seems as committed to Chalmers, as the veteran seems to continuing to improve.

With renewed focus and some creative use of his varied skills, perhaps the Chalmers Effect will be a thing of the past.