The Miami Heat are the 2012 NBA Champions and starting point guard, Mario Chalmers, should be receiving more attention than he has gotten for the team's triumph.
Miami's Big Three got most of the credit for their championship run, and they are very deserving of the praise that they are receiving. The way LeBron James performed this postseason was nothing short of spectacular, and he definitely deserved his Finals MVP award.
However, without the efforts of Chalmers, it is likely that James would still be chasing his first ring.
He was by far the fourth best player on the team, and considering the fact that the three players that are better than him are among the world's elite, that is a compliment.
No one should forget that Chalmers exploded for 25 points in Game 4, and managed to generate offense for the Heat late in the fourth quarter.
If Chalmers hadn't stepped up in the latter moments of Game 4, then there is a strong chance that the Oklahoma City Thunder would have won the game to even the series at two games apiece.
After Game 4, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said the following about Chalmers:
“That kid is not afraid of any moment,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game. “You can’t teach that.”
It should also be mentioned that Chalmers is an excellent spot-up three-point shooter, which makes him the perfect point guard for the Heat offense. James and Dwyane Wade are both superb at taking the ball to the rim and drawing the defense in. This opens up looks from behind the arc, and Chalmers is by far the most consistent deep threat on the team.
Some have suggested that the Heat are in need of an upgrade at the point guard position, but they need a quality big man more. If Miami is able to bring in a big forward to help on the glass and on the defensive end of the floor, then they will be very tough to beat next season.
The Heat have long been accused of failing to make a shot in the big moment. However, Chalmers has already proven that he can hit the big shot, as evidenced by the long three-pointer he hit to tie the game against Memphis in the 2008 NCAA National Championship game.
Is Chalmers a top ten point guard in the NBA?
No, but he is a perfect fit for the Heat. He tends to play his best basketball late in games and is a very good long-range shooter.
The Heat won a championship in the second season of the Big Three era and Chalmers deserves more credit than he has been given.
It will be on Chalmers to continue to develop his game on both ends of the floor so he can prove to everyone that the Heat do not need an upgrade at point guard.
The Heat have a chance to make good on their promise to deliver multiple championships to the city of Miami. In order to do so, they will need the continued production of Chalmers, who is without a doubt one of the most underrated players in the NBA.