The Miami Heat are currently 2-1 down in the NBA Finals and were absolutely humiliated in their game 3 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Homecourt advantage went completely out of the window on Tuesday night as the Spurs ran out 111-92 winners. Yesterday the Heat went through the game tape of the loss and one player who may have been on the receiving end of the most rewinds from Coach Erik Spoelstra was point guard Mario Chalmers.
Chalmers is terribly out of form and showed it in Game 3, putting up a grand total of two points on zero of five shooting, a disgusting stat line and one that you wouldn’t expect of a trash time player never mind your starting point guard.
And Chalmers knows how poor he is, but unfortunately for Heat fans it seems that he has no idea how to get out of it. "I've had games where I felt like this," Chalmers said Wednesday, referring to his current slump. "But I've never had an entire series where I felt like this." Chalmers also mentioned that it seems impossible to get away from all of the critics, with questions surrounding his ability completely swamping him. "People keep asking, 'What's wrong? Are you going to do this or are you going to do that?'" Chalmers said. "It's tough to get away from it."
Chalmers’ been at his worst in basically most of the whole off-season. He is averaging 3.3 points and four assists in the Finals, making up and elongating a run that hasn't seen him score double-figures in the past 12 playoff games. Even Lebron James has stopped arguing with Chalmers on the court in a bid to repair his confidence, which seems to be at an all-time low in recent times.
And the four time MVP James is sayig everything he can to the media that suggests he and the team needs Chalmers to improve if they are to have a chance at making a comeback in this finals and nailing the three-peat. Miami need to have a confident Chalmers out there dictating tempo, creating sets and instigating plays that get his Heat teammates the sort of easy baskets that the Spurs were getting when they hit 75% from the field in the first half of game 3 as they stormed to an early insurmountable lead.
But Chalmers feels like he isn’t being involved enough, an odd explanation for his poor play to say the least. "I'm not involved, really," Chalmers said of Miami's offense. "I think in the previous Finals I was handling the ball a lot more and getting more action. I think defenses were playing me different.”
It’s an interesting point. It does seem that the ball is in the hands of LeBron and Dwyane Wade a lot more than usual. In three games of the NBA Finals, he is averaging 23.3 minutes, 3.3 points, 3.0 assists and 3.0 turnovers. His assist-to-turnover ratio is 1.0, and he is shooting 25 percent from the floor and 20 percent on 3-pointers.
The slump has come at the worst time for the 28-year old who will be a free agent in the summer and hopes to do enough to earn a new deal and possibly increase his pay.