Mario Chalmers proved once again that he is good at one thing: failing to capitalize on prime opportunities.
Anyone who's been watching Miami Heat basketball lately will confidently say that Chalmers has not played up to expectations. For a player that was hyped up as a "steal" in the second round and an athlete with untapped potential, it's looking a lot like Chalmers is what he is: an inconsistent point guard with little resolve.
I'm not blaming Sunday's loss on Chalmers - it was a collective loss. But I am arguing that Chalmers is more risk than reward for Miami, given the expectations the team has of the third-year player. Compared to Carlos Arroyo, Chalmers is supposed to be a better scorer, defender and overall athlete. However, we've learned that this is an assumption that has made an "ass" of "u" and "me."
Had we painted Chalmers out to be a certified back-up point guard in the league, there would be little complaint from me. Since that isn't the case, we must deal with the consequences of placing hope in a near-bust. I mean, this kid came from being a full-time starter for all 82 games of his rookie season to a player who's struggled to earn minutes.
Let's look at some stats to illustrate this decline. Here are Chalmers' averages over the span of his career:
- 2008-09: 32 minutes, 42% field goal pct, 10 points, 4.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 2 steals
- 2009-10: 24.8 minutes, 40.1% field goal pct, 7.1 points, 3.4 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals
- 2010-11: 21.8 minutes, 39.5% field goal pct, 6.4 points, 2.2 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals
I doubt Miami moves him before the trade deadline as there are too many obstacles in the way, including cap room, salary structure and Chalmers' trade value of course. I do expect him to lose the starting job by season's end and traded or let go in the offseason.
Sad to see it come to this after I raved about (what I called) the emergence of Mario Chalmers (and Michael Beasley). I was wrong, dead wrong, but have no problem admitting it. It's time to move forward now.