NBA Finals 2012: Mario Chalmers Moves Heat 1 Win Away from Title

Danny WebsterAnalyst IIIJune 20, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 19:  Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat celebrates after the Heat won 1-4-98 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 19, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

There's a strong hunch that LeBron James will be ready for Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals on Thursday night.

He's got an NBA championship to win.

Despite banging his knee on the court and cramping up minutes later, LeBron was one rebound shy of a triple-double (26 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds). More importantly, the Miami Heat moved one win closer to their second NBA title in franchise history with a 104-98 win in Game 4 over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

But this isn't about LeBron's outstanding all-around play or his Willis Reed-like moment when he drilled the three-pointer after returning to the floor to give Miami the lead for good. And it's not about Dwyane Wade finally showing his superstar abilities to the world.

Out of all the people this night could've been about, did anyone expect it to be Mario Chalmers?

It's safe to say that Chalmers is not the type of point guard who would typically fit well into Miami's style of play. He's not a distributor of the ball; rather, he's more of a scorer and defender.

We can also add the term "clutch" to his repertoire—at least for one night.

Chalmers scored 25 points—including 12 in the fourth quarter—and was the main reason why the Heat are now leading 3-1 in the NBA Finals.

Everyone has his or her own opinion on Chalmers and how he's not a great point guard. On more than one occasion, his own teammates have even gotten in his face for his bad decision-making and his inability to make the plays that need to be made.

I'm sure Chalmers will be relaxing comfortably in his home tonight, knowing he's the reason why the Heat have control of this series and are on the verge of sending the young guns of OKC home for the summer.

And not many people will be taking this into consideration, but it has to be noted: Chalmers went toe-to-toe with Russell Westbrook, who had 43 points in Game 4. The Heat withstood the barrage of drives and buckets that Westbrook made, and Chalmers answered every shot with a bigger one on the other end.

Chalmers also didn't settle for three-pointers the entire night, either. Although he went 3-of-9 from beyond the arc, the former Kansas star attacked the basket at will and made all of his two-point baskets.

With Chalmers playing at an all-time high on Tuesday night, along with Wade and LeBron contributing usual superstar statlines, there's no reason to believe that Miami won't close this thing out on Thursday.

Never before has a team come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, and although the Thunder is a very popular and lovable team, it won't be happening this time, either.

Time to cue up the parade in South Beach.