Miami Heat: Mario Chalmers Needs to Be Firmly Entrenched as Starting Point Guard
Three years after being named Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament and leading Kansas to the national title, Mario Chalmers is a backup point guard in the NBA. It doesn't seem fitting for a player like him to be riding the pine on a team that could use his speed and three-point shooting. Let's not forget that Chalmers was the guy who drained the three that sent Kansas and Memphis into overtime in 2008.
One of Miami's top priorities for this offseason is to find a point guard that will be able to handle dishing the ball out to the big three (or four, depending on who the Heat pick up at center), while still being able to hit shots when he needs to.
While in his final season at Kansas, Chalmers was undoubtedly the Jayhawks' best player, but he isn't reaching his full potential sitting on the Heat bench.
So what should the Heat do with him? Simple: give him the reins and let him be the new starting point guard.
Miami needs to promote Chalmers now, there's not much to it.
Bibby is getting older and doesn't currently possess the skill that Chalmers does. Once Spoelstra and/or Riley realize that Chalmers deserves to be the number one point guard, it will not only help the team, but Chalmers himself. He needs that confidence to bring back the numbers he put up while he was in Kansas.
Not only would Chalmers be a good fit as the number one point guard on the Heat, but removing Bibby from the equation gives rookie Norris Cole the ability to step in as the number two. This would provide him with some much needed playing time in order to develop his skills for the NBA and for playing with players of Wade, LeBron and Bosh's caliber.
A roster alteration of this sort would allow Chalmers as well as Cole to develop properly without having the Heat sign any players in that position. They're both young and talented and the tandem could provide the Heat with a point guard solution for the foreseeable future. This is especially important because attempting to bring in a new point guard via free agency or a trade might result in a lofty contract, the departure of key players/draft picks or a player that wants the ball just as much as the big three. All of these are scenarios that Miami can avoid by promoting Chalmers and developing Cole.
However, it's important to point out that the responsibility doesn't only lie with the organization, but with Chalmers as well. Sure he was a skilled guard in college, but his NBA numbers leave much to be desired. As much as Miami needs to give the starting job to Chalmers, he has to cement his name in there with solid all around play. My belief is that Chalmers will rise to the occasion once given the job that he deserves.
This is a good move for the Heat and one they should make as soon as they can, even during a lockout. Let Chalmers know he's the go-to guy and he will embrace it; just what they need from him.
With Chalmers bringing up the ball, I like the way that Miami's lineup is looking heading into this coming season. It's time for Chalmers to become the Super Mario he was in college and help steer this team to becoming champions.
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