Miami Heat Rotation Spotlight: Defining Mario Chalmers’ Role


In the Miami Heat rotation spotlight, we will take a look at some key reserves, breaking down what their role will be and their impact on the team. Here, we take a look at Mario Chalmers.

You would think being a starter on two NBA championship teams would be enough to garner respect for most players around the league. Unfortunately, that’s never been the case with Miami Heat point guard, Mario Chalmers.

Chalmers has faced the ridicule of the Miami Heat fan base, often pin pointed as a major fault on a Miami team that went to the finals for four straight season.

Maybe it was easy for fans to do this due to the crusade the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman went on against Chalmers early on in Rio’s career. Or maybe it was the fact that Heat players, mainly

LeBron James

, yelled at Chalmers on the court, once that almost resulted in LeBron James really losing his cool on Chalmers on television.

Since the 2008 season, Chalmers has been a constant on the Heat roster. Many forget he was a second-round pick, which makes the success he’s had in his NBA career a success. Being the starting point guard on two championship teams is nothing to scoff at.

Even with Rio being the starter for those two championships, he was miscast as the starting point guard, with his flaws covered up by LeBron James handling point guard duties a lot. Chalmers held his own as a starter, but he should have been a backup on a championship roster that did not have LeBron on the roster.

That’s the role Chalmers will play this season, as Goran Dragic will be the starting point guard for the Miami Heat in 2015-2016 and beyond. Dragic was acquired last trade deadline for two first round picks and spare parts.

In 2014-2015, Chalmers had a rough season. He began the season as the backup to Norris Cole and Dwyane Wade, but due to various injuries, often started, eventually taking the starting point guard role back from Cole. Chalmers was then sent to the bench when the team acquired Dragic, but his role was still undefined, as many other Heat players started dropping like flies.

For the season, Rio averaged a career high of 10.2 points per game, but his shooting percentage dipped to 40 percent and just 29 percent from 3-point range. He played in 80 games, starting 37 of them. Chalmers’ 11.76 PER was the lowest it had been in four years.

Chalmers will enter the 2015-2016 with a much more defined role, as the backup point guard. Gerald Green and Justise Winslow will fulfill most of the duties to back up Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng at the 2 and 3 spots. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see some lineups with Chalmers on the court with Dragic and Wade, in 3-guard lineups.

No matter what you think of Chalmers, he’s a superior option to Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson to back up Dragic. The Heat would be wise to keep Chalmers as the backup point guard.

As he enters the second year of his two-year contract, a bounce-back season should be in the cards for the 29-year old Heat Lifer.