James Jones, Mario Chalmers Among 5 Miami Heat Players Who Need to Step Up

Daniel Mano Herberholz@danielmanoherbCorrespondent IMay 17, 2012

James Jones, Mario Chalmers Among 5 Miami Heat Players Who Need to Step Up

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    LeBron James and Dwayne Wade are pulling their weight, but the rest of the struggling Miami Heat team has to improve in order to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

    Beside the Big Three, Heat players are a combined 29 percent from the field for 44 points in two games against the Indiana Pacers.

    The team as a whole has botched its three-point shooting, usually in the league's top 10 but currently 1-for-22 in the series.

    For the first time in franchise history, Miami's third-leading scorer didn't have more than five points in a game.

    Given, that comes on the heels of Chris Bosh's injury, which has sidelined him indefinitely.

    But the players who step in for Bosh must step up in his absence.

Mario Chalmers

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    The first way Mario Chalmers could have stepped up for the Miami Heat would have been to hit the equalizing three-pointer at the end of Game 2.

    Treys have been a problem for Chalmers this series. So far against the Indiana Pacers, Chalmers is 0-for-5 from beyond the arc. That won't cut it from the Heat's third-best three-point shooter this season.

    Chalmers needs to play more valuable minutes. For a guy who averaged 9.8 points and 3.5 assists in 28.5 minutes per game, his numbers should go up with the five-minute boost he's seen in the playoffs.

    Even worse, Chalmers had just nine points and three assists in the first two games against the Pacers.

    His production must go up for the Heat to win.

Mike Miller

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    Another guy who's just not performing for the Miami Heat is Mike Miller.

    Against the Indiana Pacers, he's 1-for-6 from the field. Miller himself admitted the bench hasn't scored well (via the Miami Herald).

    “D-Wade and LeBron will do their jobs,” Miller said. “The rest of us have to find ways to put the ball in the hole.”

    He made up for the bad shooting in Game 1 with three boards, three assists and two steals. But on Tuesday, Miller had just two rebounds and accumulated three turnovers.

    That'll have to change as the series continues.

Udonis Haslem

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    Being the worst at something is not good, but that's what Udonis Haslem is in player efficiency this postseason.

    Ninety-two players have tallied 125-plus minutes in the playoffs, and Haslem ranks last in ESPN's efficiency ratings.

    With Chris Bosh out, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra did choose to play fewer big men in Game 2. But if Haslem had been performing to his ability, Spoelstra may not have opted to do so.

    Though he averaged 7.3 rebounds and 6.0 points per game during the season, Haslem is at just 5.9 and 3.6, respectively, in the playoffs.

    Until Haslem picks up the slack, David West and Roy Hibbert will continue to tear up the paint.

Joel Anthony

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    The Miami Heat's inside game has betrayed them in this series, and Joel Anthony is one reason for that.

    Anthony played the majority of the Game 2 minutes that were freed up by Chris Bosh's injury, but he had just six boards and two blocks.

    During the season, Anthony was the team's leading blocker. But in the playoffs, his average has been cut in half.

    The big man's shooting has also dropped off, from 55.9 to 33.3 percent. The worst came on Tuesday, when he missed all five of his shots.

    Anthony has to make his presence known in the paint on both sides of the ball.

James Jones

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    With the team's awful three-point shooting, the Miami Heat could really use the expertise of James Jones.

    A year ago, Jones sniped 45.9 percent of his treys. He torched the Boston Celtics with 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc in Game 5 to help the Heat advance from this round last postseason.

    James didn't play in Game 1 of this series and hasn't contributed nearly as much to the Heat this year.

    However, coach Erik Spoelstra brought Jones into the rotation in Game 2. Unfortunately Jones missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc.

    The sharpshooter will have to hit some key long-balls for the Heat to win this series.