The (Less Important) Decision: Who Will Start At Point Guard For The Miami Heat?

Justin EisenbandCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2010

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  Mario Chalmers #6 of the Miami Heat moves the ball across the court during the game against the New York Knicks on Octobet 29, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  The Knicks won 120-115.  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 Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

On a team with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, whichever guard is lucky enough to be penciled into the Heat starting lineup is destined to rack up tons of easy assists and open shots.

Perhaps a Point Guard for a Night promotion where a lucky Heat fan will be inserted into the starting lineup, or how about instead of returning to the bench to coach Pat Riley laces up his sneakers?

Kidding aside, one of the following players will have the opportunity to rack up some serious stats playing in the one of the most fearsome lineups ever put together.


The Favorite:

Mario Chalmers

Despite starting 82 games as a rookie while averaging 10.0 ppg and 2.0 steals per game, Chalmers lost his starting job just 22 games into last year's campaign.

While Chalmers certainly regressed last year, there is no doubt that he possesses the skills to complement the Miami superstars.

A smooth ball handler, Chalmers must show that he is able to spread the floor and limit turnovers in the backcourt.

Additionally, the former Jayhawk must display the clutch three-point shooting and lock-down defense that he demonstrated throughout his collegiate and rookie seasons.

With LeBron James and Dwayne Wade running the wings of the offense, Chalmers's duties will be limited to playing strong defense and making teams pay for doubling off onto one of the Miami Thrice.

One possible setback for the favorite: Chalmers is recovering from an ankle sprain and may not be back by the start of training camp.


The Veteran:

Carlos Arroyo

When Chalmers lost his starting job, it was the veteran Carlos Arroyo who stepped into the void in the Miami backcourt.

Arroyo has established himself as a serviceable backup point guard over the last decade; however, last year Erik Spoelstra turned to the perennial backup as a starter.

If Spoelstra repeats his choice of Arroyo over Chalmers, it will be because of Arroyo's experience and stability.

In the 2009-2010 season, Arroyo averaged less than one turnover per game and shot almost 48 percent from the field.

While Arroyo may not have the speed or potential of Chalmers, his ability to limit turnovers and years of experience may lead Spoelstra to choose him over the sexy pick of Chalmers.


The Non-Traditional Point Guard:

Dwyane Wade and LeBron James:

Obviously, Wade is going to start and it would not be surprising to see him play some point guard. LeBron, too, unquestionably can handle the ball in the backcourt.

The real question here is whether Erik Spoelstra would rather insert Mike Miller into the starting lineup.

Clearly, Miller is a better player than either Chalmers or Arroyo, but it might concern Spoelstra for Wade and LeBron to have additional duties over a long season.

Furthermore, it would not utilize Wade or LeBron's defensive skills to their maximum potential to assign them to smaller players.

In any case, it would not be surprising to see Mike Miller enter games some point in the first quarter with the entire team sharing ball handling duties.


Final Prediction:

Chalmers will get the nod, but he will be on a tight leash. Whether it is Chalmers or Arroyo eventually starting, it would not be surprising to see Wade or LeBron on ball handling duty at crunch time.